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INDIA: The Coca-Cola Co subsidiary facing pollution charge

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India’s southern state of Kerala has passed legislation that could make The Coca-Cola Co liable for up to INR2.6bn (US$57.3m) for damage to the local environment and population.

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The State Assembly passed the bill on Thursday (24 February). It enables authorities to set up a tribunal to determine the level of damages owed by Coca-Cola, after a government-appointed panel concluded that the soft drinks major polluted and exploited groundwater.

The soft drinks giant has criticised the decision, saying: “This bill is devoid of facts, scientific data or any input from, or consideration given to, the company.” A regional manager of the company said, however, that Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Ltd “remains willing to engage with all stakeholders”.


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