The Indian government has announced that soft drinks manufactured in India by PepsiCo and Coca-Cola Co do meet the required safety standards. The tests were ordered after 12 Coke and Pepsi products were found by the Center for Science and the Environment (CSE) to contain high levels of pesticides.

However, Health Minister Sushma Swaraj said tests conducted by two state-run laboratories on samples of 12 brands did contain higher traces of pesticides than those prescribed under European Union regulations.

"In some cases they are well below the EU standards and in some a few times higher than the EU limit," Swaraj said. But the minister added that the drinks "were well within the safety limits prescribed for packaged drinking water at present."

The publication of the tests ordered by the government has come earlier than anticipated. Earlier this week, PepsiCo spokesperson, Annie Cyriac, told Just-drinks that she was not expecting an announcement for about three weeks.

The government also said that it was planning to tighten India's own standards with regard to both packaged water and soft drinks next year. The CSE, an independent research organisation and environmental lobby group, is concerned that India lacks sufficient legislation of its own.