Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Colas are being left in the cold... literally. In the latest round of the Cola controversy, the government of Kerala has banned the production and sale of soft drinks marketed by Coca-Cola and Pepsi in the State. The state of Karnataka too has decided to ban the sale of 11 brands of soft drinks (including Pepsi and Coca-Cola), in educational institutions and hospitals from August 14. Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have already banned the sale of Pepsi and Coca Cola in educational institutions and government offices. This comes days after the Centre for Science and Environment’s (CSE) claim that aerated drinks contain higher levels of pesticide residues than ever before. The Kerala government’s decision came in the wake of a recommendation made by the ruling Left Democratic Front’s state committee, and now the fate of the Coca- Cola plant at Plachimada and the Pepsi unit at Puthussery hangs by a slender thread. Meanwhile, Karnataka has announced that the sale of Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Mirinda, Mountain Dew, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Blue, Fanta, Limca, Sprite, Thums Up, and 7UP will be banned within 100 metres of all schools, colleges and hospitals across the state. The state has also sought the Centre’s opinion on slapping a total ban on the sale of soft drinks. However, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has said that banning colas indiscriminately like this is likely to hurt India’s credibility and investment climate.

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