Friday, Aug 08, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
"For a person drinking at least one bottle of cold drink a day, the report came as a rude shock. I haven't picked up a bottle yesterday and most definitely will not consume soft drinks in future. The reports of pesticides and other pollutants have made soft drinks a strict no-no and we will now stick to juices and plain drinking water," said a first year medical student of Maulana Azad Medical College, Abhishek Bansal. A student of microbiology at Gargi College, Jasmine Arora, agreed that the report was a shocker and the fact that two arch-rivals -- Coca-Cola and Pepsico -- had got together indicated that "there was something fishy in the entire deal".
"The fact that both multinationals have come together to protect their products without giving the consumer any real proof of their quality proves that the companies are not telling consumers the entire truth. This then is the best time for the traditional Indian drinks to make it big in the market," explained Jasmine Arora.
Doctors agree they never really believed that soft drinks were completely free from pesticides.
"We have been telling people to avoid soft drinks because of their high calorie content and here is another reason to keep them at bay,'' said the President of the Delhi Medical Association, Anil Bansal. Not everyone completely believes the CSE report but many maintain that they will keep a safe distance from soft drinks for quite some time to come. "One cannot entirely believe the report as almost every food and drink we are getting nowadays has some amount of contaminants. But the charge that multinationals have taken consumers for a ride is annoying. What is even more distressing is that the Government has allowed such low-quality food and drinks and we don't know who to blame,'' rued a Ph.D. student at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARA), K.M. Harish.
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