Pepsi, Coke pledge not to sell sugary colas in schools

In a statement, PepsiCo said it is voluntarily adopting a new global policy to stop sales of full-sugar soft drinks to primary and secondary schools by 2012.

"We have long advocated for school settings to be made as conducive as possible to promote health of students... (it) will serve as an important part of that mission, by expanding our offerings of low-calorie and nutritious beverages," PepsiCo CEO and Chairman Indira Nooyi said.

PepsiCo said it will work with its bottlers, vending companies and third-party distributors -- in collaboration with parents, community leaders and schools officials around the world -- to offer low-calorie beverages for primary and secondary schools.

PepsiCo's move follows an announcement made by the Coca- Cola Company last week that it will make itself fully compliant with its global school beverages guideline by 2013, under which it will not offer beverages for sale in primary schools, unless asked so by parents and caregivers or school authorities to meet hydration needs.

Coke said when it offers beverages for sale in secondary schools, it will work with authorities to ensure a full range including water, juices and other beverages, in both regular and, low-calorie and calorie-free versions, is made available.

"We believe in commercial-free classrooms for children, and respect parent and school decisions around what beverages are made available during school hours," the Atlanta- headquartered company said.

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