Coke, Pepsico, officials sneak into food panel

Coke, Pepsico, officials sneak into food panel

It will lead to a severe conflict of interest, says CSE

Among them are employees of Coca-Cola India, Pespico, Hindustan Unilever, Marico Limited, Britannia Industries, ITC limited, Nestle India, Hind Agro Industries Limited and GSK Consumer Healthcare Limited.

“It is shocking that managers and those in managerial positions have been inducted into these highly technical and scientific panels. The Authority is completely compromised,” CSE director Sunita Narain said.

A general manager of Coca-Cola India is a member in the Scientific Panel for method of sampling and analysis. Another general manager from Coca-Cola and a vice-president of Pepsico are members of Scientific Panel for food additives, flavourings, processing aids and materials in contact with food. Representatives from Britannia and ITC limited are members of the Scientific Panel for pesticides and antibiotic residues. Set up under the Food Safety Act, 2006, the Authority will be the only food regulatory body in the country.

In 2003 and 2006, the CSE findings on pesticide residues in bottled water and soft drinks had shown that food safety regulations in India were practically non-existent and easily compromised. It is appalling that soft drink company representatives have been made members of the Scientific Panel dealing with these very issues, said Narain.

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