National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notice to Union Health and Family Welfare Secretary on the issue of alleged presence of cancer-causing ingredient in the soft drink brand Pepsi.
NHRC issued the notice after receiving complaint from an Odisha based rights organization, India Media Centre (IMC). The commission has asked the Union Health Secretary to submit an action taken report within four weeks.
In his petition to the NHRC, IMC's managing trustee Akhand while referring to recent media reports widely in national and international media said that Pepsi still contains a worrisome level of carcinogen that causes cancer.
US based watchdog group the Center for Environmental Health has found via testing that while Coke products no longer test positive for the chemical, Pepsi products sold outside of California still do. The test found level of 4-Mel that are 4 to 8 times higher than the California safety levels in all 10 Pepsi products purchased outside California.
Akhand argued that as of 2012, Pepsi is the third most popular carbonated drink in India with a 15% market share and Coca Cola is the fourth most popular carbonated drink occupying 8.8% of the Indian market share. IMC has alleged that the government and health ministry have not taken this warning seriously.