Earlier this year the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) — an Indian public interest organisation — released a study that found dangerously high levels of pesticide residues in the country's bottled water.
In this article, CSE's director, Sunita Narain, explains why her organisation decided to follow this up with an investigation into the pesticide content of soft drink brands Coca Cola and Pepsi (see Indian row over 'pesticides in soft drinks' claim). They discovered pesticide levels more than 30 times greater than the European Union's legal limit.
Narain argues that it is imperative for India to have a policy for safe use of pesticides, and that the country has no choice but to work on the basis of the precautionary principle. There must be stringent regulations to curtail pesticide use and new strategies for 'safe' substances, she says.