India: How soft are our soft drinks? Find out!

the soft drink row

The pesticide content in your bottle of Pepsi or Coca-cola is now much higher than before and the government has not been able to do much to check it, says the Centre for Science and Environment(CSE). Three years after the CSE first broke the ‘PESTICIDE IN COLAS’ story, its director Sunita Narain claimed on Wednesday that the pesticide residue in soft drinks were 23 times the benchmark for bottled drinking water.


On average found to contain 15.2 ppb (particles per billion) residue, 30 times BIS standards!


On average found to contain 13.4 ppb (particles per billion) residue, 27 times BIS standards!

How soft are they?
On average 11.85 ppb (particles per billion) of pesticide residue was found in all samples tested by CSE across 12 cities.
Average contamination: 23 times higher than BIS standards for bottled drinking water.

Contamination (over permissible limits)

Kolkata: ……………. 52 times
Mumbai: ……………. 34 times
Bangalore: …………. 29 times
Jaipur: ………………. 38 times
Hyderabad: …………. 24 times
Delhi (2003): ………. 34 times

Toxic Chemicals

The pesticides found include lindane, chlorpyrifos and heptachlor.

Harms they cause
Birth defects
Nervous system disorders
Kidney and liver damage
Low sperm count
Reduced immunity

Even after the 2003 ‘PESTICIDE IN COLA’ row, it seems our colas remain unsafe. But, Pepsi and Coca-Cola denied that their products contained pesticides. Coming together under the banner of the Indian Soft Drinks Manufacturers Association, they said,

The soft drinks manufactured in India comply with stringent international norms and all applicable national regulations.

Courtesy: The Hindustan Times

Pix courtesy: Down to Earth

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