Close on the heels of a ban on Coke and Pepsi by the Kerala Government, the Health Department of Haryana has decided to follow suit, by putting forth a proposal to stop the sale and production of 11 varieties of drinks under the Coke and Pepsi brand.
Top brass in the companies are very unhappy over these moves, as the findings on pesticides, had been enabled by a private company which is not in sync with the reports from renowned laboratories across the world.
The Director-General, Health Services, Haryana, Dr N. K. Sharma, said 'These soft drinks have been found to contain large quantities of Lindane (which is carcinogenic), Acquachlor, Chlorpyriphos and Melathion, which are very harmful to human health. We have recommended to the state government that a complete ban on the production and sale of these soft drinks should be imposed in the state. The recommendation to this effect has been sent to the Secretary and Financial Commissioner, Health, Haryana, for further action.'
Not having adequate testing facilities for pesticides, some chemicals which will be needed to facilitate the testing will be provided so that tests could be conducted in Chandigarh itself, according to the Director General Health. A high level executive from Coco-Cola said, 'The Central Science Laboratory in London, which is a UK-Government laboratory, has released a report which says that the pesticide residues in our soft drinks are below the European Union criteria for bottled water. We are thinking of taking legal recourse against the CSE for releasing a damaging report against us.'