Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss Monday said that his ministry views the contamination of soft drinks with utmost seriousness.
"The ministry of health and family welfare has taken note of the studies carried out by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) as well as its discussions in the print and electronic media on Aug 2. The report of the CSE is being examined," Ramadoss informed parliament.
The ministry views "the contamination of soft drinks with utmost seriousness and is committed to protecting the health of the consumers and would take all necessary steps to ensure this".
Three years after it shocked the nation with a report showing exceedingly large amounts of pesticide content in leading soft drink brands, CSE last week released its second study 'Soft Drinks - Hard Truth II' showing three to five immune-suppressive pesticides again in 11 brands.
A fresh survey conducted by it has found that the brands of the Coke and Pepsi family had on an average 24 times more pesticide residues than what it had found in 2003.
The minister, however, said the standards for soft drinks or 'carbonated water' were formulated under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules.
"These standards for soft drinks have provided that the water to be used in making carbonated water should conform to the standards prescribed for packaged drinking water," he said.
Meanwhile, CSE Monday dared the cola companies to come clean.
"They want us to believe that they are safe because film stars drink their products or because other foods in India are contaminated. This is a clever spin and will not fool the Indian consumers," it said in a statement.