Karnataka on Wednesday decided to ban the sale of 11 brands of soft drinks including Pepsi and Coca-Cola in educational institutions and hospitals from August 14 in the wake of a NGO's claim that the beverages contained high levels of pesticide residues.
The sale of Pepsi, Coca Cola, Mirinda, Mountain Dew, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Blue, Fanta, Limca, Sprite, Thums Up and 7UP will be banned within 100 metres of all schools, colleges and hospitals across the state, Health Minister R Ashok and Primary and Secondary Education Minister Basavaraj Horatti told a press conference in Bangalore.
The state has sought the Centre's opinion on slapping a total ban on the sale of soft drinks, Ashok said. Junk foods like pizzas and burgers have also come under the government scanner, he said.
An analysis of the soft drinks at a laboratory indicated that they contained chemicals and pesticides - including linadane, DDT, malathion and chlorpyrifos - in higher quantities than the stipulated norms, the ministers said.
Ashok said cases would be filed against the soft drink manufacturing firms under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.
There were reports that packaged drinking water of various brands too contained high levels of DDT and action will be initiated against the manufacturers, he said.