SC issues notice to Kerala on PepsiCo's plea

A bench headed by Justice Altamas Kabir sought reply from the Kerala government and others and posted the matter for hearing on September 16.

Challenging the Kerala High Court's judgement that refused to quash criminal proceedings against the company, PepsiCo said that refusal was against the procedure established by law as there were no standards set for pesticide residues in soft drinks under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954 and Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules 1955.

Since no standard for pesticide residues in sweetened carbonated water has been prescribed, it would not be open to a public analyst to conclude that its soft drinks were adulterated and were poisonous or injurious to health, PepsiCo senior counsel K K Venugopal said.
He added it was in universal knowledge that pesticide residues were present in various other food articles.

The pesticide residue allegedly found in its sample was treated as a permissible and non-prohibited substance in other food products like leafy vegetables wherein the permissible limit was 10 parts per million (1,000 times more than what was allegedly found in PepsiCo's sample), the petition stated.

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