Alok Prasad Putul writes that “Farmers in India have been using Pepsi and Coca–Cola as a cheaper alternative to pesticides.” Therefore, besides being a poison to the human body, these drinks are also used in other ways around the world.
The Center for Science and Environment (CSE) , which is one of India’s leading voluntary agencies, claims that the soft drinks produced in India, including those with the brand names Pepsi and Coca-Cola, contain extremely high levels of pesticide residues, and due to this, farmers use them to fight pests as they are cheaper than the conventional pesticides.
In the third countries, it is cheaper to buy Coke than to find clean water. This drink has been tested due to its cleaning effects, and it has been found to be quite effective in cleaning oil stains, tile grout and even strip paint off the cabinets.
In 2003, the CSE analyzed samples from 12 major soft drink manufacturers and discovered that all of them had residues of 4 extremely toxic pesticides and insecticides, lindane, DDT, malathion and chlorpyrifos.
Sunita Narain, the director of the CSE, reported the following at a press conference:
“In all the samples tested, the levels of pesticide residue far exceeded the maximum permissible total pesticide limit of 0.0005 mg per liter in water used as food, set down by the European Economic Commission (EEC).”
CDS scientists have reported that regarding the EEC limits, the chlorpyrifos level was 42 times higher, the residues of malathion were 87 times higher, and the levels of lindane-, which is banned in the United States-were21 times higher. Moreover, the stated that the toxins were able to lead to long-term cancer, birth defects, damage to the nervous and reproductive systems, and severe disruption of the immune system.
The CSE findings have shown that the Coca-Cola and Pepsi samples had almost similar concentrations of pesticide residues: namely, the contaminants in Pepsi samples were 37 times higher than the EEC norms, Coca-Cola exceeded the norms by 45 times.