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Ban the Colas!
Tender coconut, lassi, sattu, juice. I thought that is what we generally liked. Maybe I was mistaken! Then read, nay, listened: Newsline, January 31, 2004: ‘The Indian parliament has banned the sale of Coke and Pepsi products in its cafeteria’
OUR PARLIAMENTARIANS should take the next logical step and ban the sale of Coke and Pepsi products in the entire country. What the Indian Parliament did? Nothing! The ban came as a result of tests, including those conducted by the Indian government, which found high levels of pesticides and insecticides, including lindane, DDT, malathion and chloropyrifos in the colas making them unfit for consumption. Some samples tested showed the presence of these toxins 30 times beyond the levels allowed by the European Union.


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Large multinationals are notorious for marketing products banned in the West in the emerging markets or developing countries. And as if there wasn’t enough fizz in the water already, so to speak, Coca-Cola, in a gesture of goodwill (!) was giving away the toxic sludge from its plant in Kerala to farmers for free -- as fertilizer! Tests commissioned by BBC on samples of the toxic sludge, not surprisingly, found high levels of lead and cadmium!


Have you studied science? Ever wondered what keeps cola from freezing when the temperature is down to the minus degree range? Yes, it is Ethylene Glycol. Yes, that is the poison that chills it but not freezes it. A new study by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on pesticide content in soft drinks found significant traces of Malathion in at least 50 percent of the samples it collected from the National Capital region. Malathion is a pesticide, which can have harmful effects on the human brain. If you are not aware, I must tell you that Malathion is a widely used pesticide in urban areas for controlling mosquitoes and pests. Traces of the pesticide were found in at least 50 percent of the samples collected in Delhi and its neighbouring areas.


Still, our health minister maintains that the government is not empowered to impose such a ban. "We have asked the Food and Drugs Commissioner to provide us guidance in this connection". What should we conclude from this? Is the government so fascist that it is yet to decide whether we, the people, should live or not? I do not think so. So let us decide, whether we want to live or not. And if we want to live, let us live like human beings and not like pests.
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