Share The Wealth by Chris Gupta
August 17, 2003

POPs and the food industry

The article below is a reminder that there is no human being left on earth who does not have some POP (Persistent Organic Pollutant) in their blood..

Because of this, the health effects of exposure to POPs cannot be accurately measured because there is no sample free of contaminant to compare to. (the control). This fact allows the pharma/agri corporations to argue that a direct link between pesticides and cancer and other diseases cannot be proven..

This argument allowed the tobacco industry to delay government regulations for years, and we can expect the pharma/agri businesses to use the same delay tactics..

This is precisely why Health Canada should be utilizing the Precautionary Principle when deciding which chemicals are to be marketed in Canada, not allowing anything that the chemical corporations determine are safe..

John Pope


Pesticide Action Network Updates Service

 Indian Pop Has POPs (and other pesticides)

August 15, 2003

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in India reported on August 5, 2003 that pesticides had been found in twelve brands of Indian soft drinks. CSE's Pollution Monitoring Laboratory (PML) analyzed samples of bottled soft drinks for 16 organochlorine pesticides, 12 organophosphorus pesticides and 4 synthetic pyrethroides, all of which are used extensively in India. The soft drink brands tested were Blue Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Diet Pepsi, Fanta, Limca, Mirinda Orange, Mirinda Lemon, Mountain Dew, Pepsi, Sprite, Thums Up and 7-Up.

Lindane, an organochlorine pesticide applied to seeds before planting and used pharmaceutically to treat lice and scabies, was found in every brand of soft drink tested. Lindane persists in the environment, contaminates surface and ground water and accumulates in fat tissues. Highest concentrations of lindane found by PML were 0.0042 mg/L, or 42 times the European Economic Commission (EEC) standard for drinking water. For all twelve brands, lindane concentrations averaged 21 times the EEC standard.

The organophosphate pesticide DDT and its metabolites (DDD and DDE) were detected in 81% of the samples tested. Average DDT and metabolite concentrations were 15 times European limits. Chlorophyrifos, a neurotoxin and a special risk to pregnant women, was also found in all of the samples, with average concentrations 42 times the EEC standard. Malathion was detected in 97% of the samples, highest in a Mirinda Lemon sample at 196 times the European standard. Malathion detected in Coca-Cola was 137 times greater than EEC drinking water standards.

In February 2003, the CSE tested bottled drinking water and also found pesticides in 17 different Indian labels. The same laboratory detected lindane DDT, malathion and chlorpyrifos in all of the bottled water samples tested, except for Evian, which is imported. As a result of that report, the Indian government announced in July that new standards for pesticide residues in bottled water will go into effect in January 2004.

Pepsi and Coca Cola, multinational companies based in the U.S., each have large shares of the Indian bottled soft drink market. Coca-Cola and Pepsi officials in India immediately disputed CSE's soft drink findings and called for a new round of laboratory testing. Pepsi appealed to the Indian courts to stop publication of the CSE report, calling the research methods "suspect." On August 12, 2003 an Indian court ordered the federal government to test Pepsi samples for pesticides, and the Delhi High Court asked the government to develop new and tougher standards for pesticide contaminants in soft drinks.

Meanwhile, sales of bottled soft drinks in India have plummeted, and several states in India have moved to test soft drinks, with one state refusing to allow Pepsi and Coke products to be shipped from bottling plants until they were tested as a "precautionary measure."

In the U.S. and Europe, legally enforceable standards regulate water used in bottled drinks, however Indian laws currently exclude bottled soft drinks and water from regulations concerning pesticides in food. CSE says that soft drink manufacturers and the bottled water industry in India use large quantities of ground water, which has become increasingly contaminated as levels have dropped dramatically in many parts of the country.

CSE maintains that "pesticides are in manufactured consumables because there are pesticides in the 'raw water' used. There are pesticides in the source water because there are pesticides being blatantly used in fields. Thus any policy to provide consumers in India with quality consumables can do nothing until it takes into account these deadly chemicals."

Sources: Colanisation's Dirty Dozen, Bottled Water Norms Notified, Down to Earth, Science and Environment on-line, , Hindu Business Line, August 5, 2003, Pepsi, Coke soft drinks contain pesticides: CSE, Pepsi to be Tested for Toxins in India, Reuters, August 12, 2003, CSE Press Release, August 13, 2003.

Contact: Centre for Science and the Environment, 41, Tughlakabad Institutional Area, New Delhi-110062, India, phone (91 011) 260-66854, 260-59810, 299-55410, 299-55781, 299-56394; fax (91 011) 299-55879; email: ;

PANUPS is a weekly email news service providing resource guides and reporting on pesticide issues that don't always get coverage by the mainstream media. It's produced by Pesticide Action Network North America, a non-profit and non-governmental organization working to advance sustainable alternatives to pesticides worldwide.

You can join our efforts! We gladly accept donations for our work and all contributions are tax deductible in the United States. Visit .

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."  -Dan Quayle


posted by Chris Gupta on Sunday August 17 2003
updated on Saturday September 24 2005

URL of this article:



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