Pepsico and CocaCola refuted allegations of presence of heavy metals in their PET soft drink bottles

New Delhi,Oct7: Cola majors Pepsico and CocaCola on Thursday refuted allegations of presence of heavy metals in their PET bottles and said that they have not received any such reports from the government.
As per reports, a recent study by carried out by the government of India found five different kinds of toxins in soft drinks manufactured by two multinational companies, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola.

The results of the test conducted by the Health Ministry’s Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) confirmed the presence of traces of heavy metals like antimony, lead, chromium and cadmium as well as the compound DEHP, or Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, in five cold drink samples – Pepsi, Coca Cola, Mountain Dew, Sprite and 7Up – collected by the department for the study.

While Pepsi, Mountain Dew and 7Up are owned by PepsiCo, Sprite is owned by Coca-Cola.

However, both the firms had refuted allegations of presence of heavy metals in their PET bottles.

“We have received no intimation nor a copy of the cited test reports and without an understanding of the methodology used, would be unable to comment on the reports,” a PepsiCo India spokesperson said.

CocaCola India too said: “We have not received any communication or notice from any of the concerned government departments pertaining to testing of our products and have learnt about the subject only through the said newspaper report”.

He further said: “We will be able to comment in details once we receive the said report”.

Assuring the safety of their PET bottles, PepsiCo said: “We would like to emphatically reiterate that our products comply with the permissible limits for heavy metals as laid down by the food safety and standards regulations in India”.

As per the DTAB website, there are no permissible limits for heavy metals in cold drinks. Tests found 0.029 milligrams per litre (mg/L), 0.011 mg/L, 0.002 mg/L, 0.017 mg/L and 0.028 mg/L of antimony, lead, cadmium, chromium and DEHP, respectively, in Pepsi. Whereas 0.006 mg/L, 0.009 mg/L, 0.011 mg/L, 0.026 mg/L and 0.026 mg/L of these heavy metals were found in Coca Cola. The tests also showed similar results for Sprite, Mountain Dew and 7Up.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) categorises lead and cadmium as “major public health concern” that can have severe effects on children and adults, causing renal diseases.

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