'Coca-Cola, Pepsi adulterated with pesticides'
Kochi, Sept 11: The Kerala Government today informed the state High Court that it had banned Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola after finding that they were contaminated with pesticides.
The government said this in a counter-affidavit filed in response to the separate writ petitions filed by Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Ltd and Pepsico Holdings India Ltd, challenging the ban on the manufacture and sale of Coke and Pepsi in the state last month.
The government submitted that both the products were banned after they were found to be adulterated.
The Centre for Science and Environment, a Delhi-based NGO, had conducted a study regarding the presence of different pesticides in Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola and found residues of Organochlorine pesticides in the samples, the government said.
''As the products were found to be adulterated, and their consumption could adversely affect the life of citizens, depriving them of their right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constution, the state had a constitutional obligation to see that the adulterated food items were which were injurious to the health of the citizens, should not be sold in the state,'' the affidavit stated.
The government further submitted that the ban order was perfectly justified as it was in public interest.
The arguments of both sides commenced before the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice V K Bali and Justice M Ramachandran. They would continue tomorrow.