Pesti-Cola – This is the current Indian nickname for the purveyors of sugared water, those bastions of refreshment and coolness in the heat of the Indian summer, beloved by all, Pepsi-Cola and Coca-Cola. Collateral damage in the cola wars?
NEW DELHI: Three years after the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) reported high levels of pesticides in popular cold drink brands, killer chemicals continue to contaminate the drinks at unacceptably high levels.
The 2006 CSE study tested 57 samples of 11 soft drink brands from 25 different manufacturing plants of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo in 12 states. It found a cocktail of three to five pesticides in all samples.
From Reuters today, just in case you needed the credibility of the site established,
A 2003 study by CSE briefly dented the companies’ sales when it said it found levels of pesticide in the companies’ soft drinks in excess of international standards.That study was endorsed by India’s parliament though the soft drink majors said at the time the drinks were safe to consume and they repeated their stand on Wednesday.
Since 2003, there has been a plethora of information available on this subject, chiefly from concerned citizens of India. Had you heard? Did you know? Were you aware that the world’s #1 most valuable brand according to the just released Businessweek/Interbrand 2006 survey of Global Brands did not give a flying fuck about their customers in the third world?
From the India Resource Center’s website, because this must be rationally disseminated and I can only find a wordless scream inside of me, perhaps I will write again a little later.
Double standards? You bet. An isolated incident? Not quite.
Large multinationals are notorious for serving up products that have
been banned in the West to new and emerging markets in developing
Coca-Cola India has hired a public relations firm, Perfect Relations,
to rebuild its tarnished image in India. But the story of Coca-Cola in
India goes much deeper than the toxic colas being served to the public,
and no measure of public relations alone can solve this problem.
Communities in and around Coca-Cola’s bottling operations are
facing severe shortages of water as a result of the cola major sucking
huge amounts of water from the common groundwater source.
To add insult
to injury, the scarce water that remains has been polluted by Coca-Cola
as a result of its operations. In a gesture of goodwill, Coca-Cola now
proudly trucks in water tankers for the community. And the main raw
material for Coca-Cola’s product — water — is practically free for
the cola major.
Click through, read the rest of the story of what MNC’s do in emerging markets, how they beat up the voiceless ones, the protesters, those at the bottom of the pyramid. Brave New World, indeed.
And a snippet from the Guardian,
Yesterday a spokesman for Coca-Cola in Atlanta said: "We are aware of one isolated case where a farmer may have used a soft drink as part of his crop management routine.
"Soft drinks do not act in a similar way to pesticides when applied to the ground or crops. There is no scientific basis for this and the use of soft drinks for this purpose would be totally ineffective".
Union Carbide anyone?