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Case Code: CLIBE042
Case Length: 4 pages 
Period: --  
Pub Date: 2005
Teaching Note: Not Available
Subject :Business Environment
Organization :--
Industry :-
Countries : --

Cola drinks - How Safe are they? *



The focus of this caselet is the controversy over the presence of a high level of pesticides in soft drinks manufactured by Coca-Cola and Pepsi companies. It discusses the international standards related to quality of beverages and draws attention to the need for specific regulations in the beverage segment in India. The caselet takes a look at the impact the pesticide controversy has had on the two soft drink giants.
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  • How the soft-drink giants are struggling to get out of the pesticide controversy.
  • Need for regulatory standards in India to maintain quality of beverages.
  • The effect of the pesticide controversy on the cola giants.
In mid-2003, soft drinks manufactured by Coca-Cola and Pepsi in India, were found to contain high levels of pesticides.

In May 2003, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a non government organization announced that tests conducted by its Pollution Monitoring Laboratory showed up many cold drinks such as Pepsi, Coca Cola, Thums Up, etc. sold in and around Delhi as containing toxic pesticides and insecticides such as lindane, DDT, malathion and chlorpyrifos that crossed the maximum permissible amount. In fact, this is not an isolated case of contaminated food products being sold... .
1. Do you think the lack of a proper regulatory body for soft drinks sector has given rise to controversies such as the pesticide controversy? Comment.

2."Soft drinks production without any government control is a direct assault on the health of the nation." What are the measures that the government can take to prevent a recurrence of contamination in soft drinks and bottled water?


Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), Toxic pesticides, Insecticides, European Economic Commission, European Union (EU), Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act, Fruit Products Order (FPO), Soft drinks sector, Pepsi and Coca-Cola

* This caselet is intended for use only in class discussions.
** More comprehensive case studies are priced at Rs.200 to Rs.700 (US $5 to US $16) per copy.