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Last Updated: Monday, 11 August, 2003, 09:49 GMT 10:49 UK
Court orders Pepsi tests
Drinks stall in Delhi
PepsiCo India said the allegations were intended to spread panic
An Indian court has ordered samples of Pepsi to be tested after the soft drinks giant challenged accusations that its beverages contained pesticide.

Pepsi and its rival Coca-Cola are contesting bans on their products which have arisen following a watchdog report alleging they contain toxic chemicals.

Last week, an Indian environmental watchdog alleged that some Coca-Cola and Pepsi drinks sold in the country contained more than the prescribed limit of toxic pesticides.

Both firms strenuously deny that their products contain more than the prescribed limit of pesticides.

The Delhi High Court on Monday ordered the Indian Government to test Pepsi samples in its laboratories and report its findings in three weeks.

The ruling followed an appeal by Pepsi's Indian arm, seeking an "independent evaluation" of the allegations levelled against it by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

Coca-cola has lodged a similar petition in the Bombay High Court.

The Indian health ministry has already ordered independent tests - a move which has been welcomed by the two companies.


The publication of the CSE report led to strong reactions across the country.

Indian protestors burn a placard depicting a bottle of Cola during a demonstration in Calcutta
There have been protests against the cola giants
The Indian parliament banned its cafeterias from serving Pepsi and Coke while the defence ministry issued a circular ordering all its clubs to stop selling the drinks.

The row over the products began on Tuesday when the CSE said it had tested samples from the two leading cola brands and found four toxic chemicals: lindane, DDT, malathion and chlorpyrifos.

The companies responded by stressing their products had passed stringent quality tests by accredited Indian and international laboratories.

PepsiCo India's chairman Rajeev Bakshi called the accusations "wild allegations... calculated to spread consumer panic".

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