Indian state bans soft drinks after Coke, Pepsi gets toxic label
Aug 04 11:05 AM US/Eastern
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An Indian state has banned the sale of soft drinks as the country's highest court told the US beverage giants Pepsico and Coca-Cola to reveal the ingredients of their products.
"The ban will be in force in all educational institutes, including medical and technical colleges and universities and offenders would be punished," a spokesman from the administration of northern Rajasthan state announced Friday.
He argued that soft drinks producers were required to print statutory warnings on their products.
"Manufacturers are required to print 'not only dangerous for human consumption, but also the quantity of the residues, if any, on each label,'" said spokesman K. Tiwari.
The Press Trust of India said the state legislative assembly of the northern state of Punjab also removed soft drinks from the menu of its lawmakers beginning Friday.
"The restriction will remain in force until the controversy regarding harmful ingredients in soft drinks is cleared," said assembly Secretary Nachhattar Singh Mavi.
Federal MPs Thursday demanded a nationwide ban on Pepsi and Coke after the privately-funded Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said 11 drinks sold by the two US companies contained unacceptable doses of pesticides.
A two-judge bench of India's Supreme Court, meanwhile, gave the two firms a month to reveal the ingredients of their products, officials said.
The court reacted to a public lawsuit which argued products sold by both the firms were deeply laced with harmful chemicals such as phosphoric acid, caffeine and aspartame.
Pepsico and Coca-Cola have rejected the CSE's report, saying customers interests were their paramount concern.
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