• 14/09/2003

august 5, 2003: Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) releases report on pesticide residues in 12 major cold drink brands sold in and around Delhi.

august 6: Pepsico India Holdings Limited and Coca-Cola India advertise laboratory tests claiming they are clean.

august 6: Union minister for health and family welfare Sushma Swaraj announces that samples of soft drinks would be tested at Mysore-based Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) and Kolkata-based Central Food Laboratory (CFL). Parliament bans the sale of aerated water on its premises.

august 8: Pepsico files petition in Delhi High Court (HC). Alleges CSE study is unreliable, seeks gag order and calls for review by expert committee. Various state governments order testing of soft drinks.

august 11: HC tells Union government to set up expert panel, test soft drinks and revert within three weeks. It directs the government to review soft drink standards and include pesticide norms. Pepsico informs HC it will not press for charges against CSE.

august 13: Supreme Court declines to entertain Coke petition, challenging veracity of CSE report.

august 19: State governments release reports. Kerala gives clean chit.

august 21: Swaraj presents in parliament results of tests carried out at CFTRI and CFL. Nine out of 12 samples found to have pesticide residues above EEC norms, though levels are lower than those detected by CSE. But Swaraj claims soft drinks tested are well within safety limits. She, however, says newly notified standards for bottled water may be made applicable to soft drinks also. Opposition parties unconvinced. Demand joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to probe controversy.

august 22: Government sets up 15-member JPC headed by Sharad Pawar. To submit findings in winter session of parliament.

August 22: Maharashtra serves a notice to Pepsico because four samples picked up from its Raigad plant are found to contain lindane.

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