First, a news bit from India…
A New Delhi-based independent research body said it found pesticide residue in samples of Coke and Pepsi that was 24 times above the limits set by the Bureau of Indian Standards, and 30 to 36 times higher than European Union standards.
A petition filed in the Supreme Court said that the drinks “contained highly toxic, acidic and addictive ingredients dangerous for human consumption,” and that the consumer had a right to know about the contents.
The toxins found in the soft drinks could, if consumed over a long period, cause cancer, birth defects and damage to the nervous system, the Centre for Science and Environment said in a report released last week.
I don’t think this is a problem that solely concerns India. I’m sure the problem exists elsewhere, and maybe even here in Tunisia.
I personally think that all soft drink companies should disclose the ingredients they use in their soft drinks, not just in India, but everywhere, and these ingredients should be closely studied by the health authorities of each country.
I’m sure that when these companies say that the soft drinks they manufacture and sell in every country “comply with stringent international norms and all applicable national regulations”, it’s not always truly the case.
In most cases, a local company gets the license to manufacture a certain soft drink, and even though I guess they have to go through a number of tests at the beginning, I’m not sure there are constant inspections that assure the quality of the product is the same and that the ingredients being used are at the accepted levels at all times.
I think this responsibility falls upon the mother company that is licensing its brand and has to protect it from being abused, and on the local authorities who have to make sure every product on the market is healthy and safe for consumption by the public.
[Thanks to Sulaphat for the article link.]