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Indian states ban Coke and Pepsi

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Coke and Pepsi are pretty popular all over the world, but it will get harder to get them in certain parts of India. Today the Indian state of Gujarat announced it's banning the soft drinks from government schools and offices. It's the sixth Indian state to do this. The reason is an environmental study which found the sodas have high levels of pesticides. Miranda Kennedy has more on the story from New Delhi.


MIRANDA KENNEDY: The study found an average pesticide residue 24 times the legal limit.

That was in samples of Coke and Pepsi drinks produced in India. The problem is that the Indian standards are not enforced, says Sunita Narain, who headed up the study.

So Coke and Pepsi can get away with selling toxic products in India, one of their largest markets.

SIUNITA NARAIN: Let's be very clear that the bottles we brought from the US did not have the pesticides; the bottles we tested in India did have pesticides. There is a difference. Therefore you need to be regulated here.

On Friday, India's Supreme Court asked Coke and Pepsi to make public the ingredients of the drinks they make and sell here. But they are unlikely to reveal their secret recipes, unless sales drop so low, they're forced to take action.

In New Delhi, I'm Miranda Kennedy for Marketplace.

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