The Orissa government has ordered administrations of all 30 districts to collect Pepsi and Coca-Cola soft drink samples within the next three days.
The officials were Thursday asked to send the samples to the state capital Bhubaneswar, said a senior health department official.
These would then be sent to a laboratory in Pune, Maharashtra, as the state government does not have testing facilities to confirm the presence of pesticides. If the tests prove conclusively that the drinks contain harmful pesticides, the state government may ban products from the two soft drink giants.
The New Delhi based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) had recently announced that dangerous levels of pesticide were found in all the samples of the 11 soft drinks brands collected from 25 different manufacturing units of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo spread over 12 states.
As a result, several states in India, including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat, recently banned colas in schools, colleges and government departments.
Orissa government has been under pressure from different social groups for not taking adequate steps to test the drinks.