Coke and Pepsi in India Reported to Contain High Pesticide Residues

A dozen varieties of soft drinks sold by Coca-Cola and Pepsi in Delhi, India, contain “dangerously high” levels of pesticide residues, according to tests conducted by the Center for Science and Environment, a Delhi-based nonprofit. CSE accused the companies of drawing their source water from India’s highly contaminated groundwater supply and then doing little to purify it. The group also tested Coke and Pepsi beverages purchased in the U.S. and the European Union and found no traces of pesticides. The problem, says CSE Director Sunita Narain, is that the U.S. and E.U. have regulations governing the water used to produce soft drinks, while India doesn’t. Coke and Pepsi vehemently deny the charges of contamination and are considering legal action against CSE. In a separate bit of bad news for Coke, Greenpeace is calling for the shutdown of one of the corporation’s bottling plants in India, accusing the plant of passing the toxic sludge it produces on to local farmers in the guise of fertilizer.