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The Indian parliament is to carry out further safety tests to investigate reports of dangerous levels of pesticides in Indian brands of Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

Government findings released yesterday suggest that although soft drinks sold by the companies in India do contain some pesticide residues, the levels do not exceed Indian safety limits. However, some of the samples failed the higher standards of the European Union.

On the basis of its tests, the Indian government declared Indian Pepsi and Coca-Cola to be safe. But following protests by opposition members of parliament, the government today agreed to order further tests on the drinks and also to suggest future criteria for standards.

The controversy over the safety of the drinks erupted on 5 August when the New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment, an independent public interest organisation, released a report alleging that the drinks contained dangerous levels of pesticides.

Link to BBC Online news story

Link to Coca-Cola statement on safety of the company's Indian products
Link to Centre for Science and Environment statement on government tests 

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