Pepsi and Coke contain Pesticides Before you take a sip of one of those ever so tempting and seemingly refreshing colas, think again. The pesticide level in carbonated beverages like Pepsi and Coca-Cola still continue to remain high even after the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) reported in 2003 that aerated drinks contain a cocktail of life threatening toxins.

In its latest report released on August 2 by the CSE, the pesticide levels were at a national average of 24 times higher than its normal levels as stated by the Bureau of Indian Standards.

The study tests conducted on 57 samples of 11 soft drink brands, from 25 different manufacturing plants of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo found pesticide residues in all samples; and a cocktail of 3-5 different pesticides in all samples.

The report said: “The pesticides levels in some samples – for instance, Coca-Cola bought in Kolkata – exceeded the BIS standards by 140 times for the deadly pesticide Lindane. Similarly, a Coca-Cola sample manufactured in Thane contained the neurotoxin Chlorpyrifos, 200 times the standard.”

“This is clearly unacceptable as we know that pesticides are tiny toxins and impact our bodies over time,” said Sunita Narain, Director, CSE.

The three main pesticides out of the six pesticides found in the aerated drinks are:

  • Lindane -a confirmed carcinogen whose levels were over 54 times above the BIS standard. In one Coca-Cola sample from Kolkata, it was 140 times higher.
  • Chlorpyrifos -a known neurotoxin whose levels were 47 times higher. A Coca-Cola sample from Mumbai had a 200 times higher level.
  • Heptachlor, banned in India, was found in 71 per cent of the samples, at levels 4 times higher than BIS standards
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