Last week sometime, Sunita Narain of CSE again came out with its report about the increased content of pesticides and other health wise unsafe elements in Pepsi and Coke. In a debate on NDTV, she presented her strongly worded views. These MNCs are not allowing the central government to come out the standard that has been finalized on the recommendation of Joint Parliamentary Committee. I wonder why our government is so scared about these MNCs. Is it to get the N-deal through?
Main problem for the public in general and the parents in particular is the confusion that these reports create in the mind of the people. Even in that debate, the two other backing Cola companies, were M. Suhel Seth and Mr. Singhal, to whom Sunita’s report is biased and meant to get prominence by opposing MNCs. I don’t understand why the scientific communities of the country are not coming out to help the people and our young kids to clear their confusion created from the serious reports from CSE and the contradicting promotional advertisements from celebrities including Big B. Is it so difficult to authoritatively and technically to say if the drinks are good for the kids or not?
And as I hear today many of the state governments such as Rajasthan, and some others are banning the cola sell. The Rajasthan Assembly has also prohibited the sale of soft drinks in its precincts, while the government of Madhya Pradesh has banned the drinks in educational institutions.
The Karnataka government has conducted its own tests on colas and found melathene above permissible limits in the drinks that may damage brain cells. It has banned the sale of colas in schools and colleges as well as hospitals and government canteens across the state since Monday.
The Kerala cabinet has decided to ban the production and distribution of the colas “because of the reports that there are pesticides in the drinks.” Perhaps, Kerala wishes to promote coconut cola, as unlike Coke and Pepsi coconut water has many nutrients too. This is certainly a good move, if it get taker of the idea in equal numbers. It shall certainly give good boost to the rural farmers and provide huge employment too. However, either some NGOs or the government will have to provide the resources for the advertisements or our celebrities must do some for free.
Indian government must try to get the problem sorted through a standardization of the product quality and its content through some scientifically deduced limits of impurities and its control in manufacture.
It is surprising to note that while in US, we found many parents discouraging their kids from taking colas and chocolate, but in our country these drinks are reaching even the remote rural India too. Coke and Pepsi have replaced Thandhai and Sikanjawi.