Last year, drinks sold by Coca-Cola in the UK were found to contain pesticides up to 300 times the level allowed in tap or bottled water. Researchers tested 102 cans and bottles of soft drinks bought from 15 countries, for the presence of 100 pesticides. The UK products were bought in London, Cambridge, Edinburgh, St Andrews and at Gatwick Airport.
Experts said the levels found were low under the maximum residue levels allowed for fruit, but they were 'very high' and 'up to 300 times' the figure permitted for bottled or tap water. (4)
The average level of the total pesticide contamination of the British drinks was 17.4 parts per billion - 34.6 times the EU maximum residue level for water. Coca-Cola GB insisted the products are safe. A spokesman said;
The generally miniscule levels that were detected were well within the acceptable daily intake levels and these findings should reassure consumers there is no safety issue here.
Similar results have been found in India. Tests conducted by the Pollution Monitoring Laboratory (PML) of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in 2003 showed that total pesticides in all Coca-Cola brands on average were 0.0150 mg/l, 30 times higher than the European Economic Commission (EEC) limit. All samples contained residues of four extremely toxic pesticides and insecticides;
- malathion and,
Each sample had enough poison to cause - in the long term - cancer, damage to the nervous and reproductive systems, birth defects and severe disruption of the immune system. (5)
More recently, findings published in The Hindu, June 5, 2010 submitted by The Hazards Centre, a non-governmental organization (NGO), found high levels of toxic chromium and other pollutants in the soil and water around five Coca-Cola and Pepsico plants in North India.