I’d Like to Buy the World a … Juice?
Soft drinks made in India by PepsiCo Inc. and Coca-Cola Co. contain levels of toxic pesticides — including lindane, DDT, malathion, and chlorpyrifos — high enough to cause cancer or immune-system failure over time. Such was the conclusion of an Indian parliamentary report released yesterday, confirming similar findings by the Delhi-based Center for Science and Environment released last summer. Tests showed that Pepsi’s fizzy drinks contained 36 times the pesticide levels allowed under European Union standards, Coke’s 30. Although the companies denied that their drinks are unsafe, the report is widely expected to hurt the $1.6 billion Indian market for soda and lead to more stringent public-safety regulations in the world’s most populous democracy. Says CSE head Sunita Narain, “Their report is historic and reads almost like a manifesto for environmental action in the country.”