Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Samajwadi Party MPs staged a walkout from the Lok Sabha Thursday, alleging that the government had taken no steps to ban soft drinks despite reports of considerable pesticide content in them.
Raising the issue during zero hour, Samajwadi Party MP Ramji Lal Suman said the soft drink companies have not been following the norms issued by the joint parliamentary committee last year.
He alleged the government was bowing before the multi-national companies "which is very condemnable". Communist Party of India-Marxist members accused the government of colluding with the soft drink companies.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi denied the charges.
MPs belonging to all parties except the ruling Congress demanded an immediate ban on the sale of soft drinks in the country.
As the government refused to give an assurance, the BJP and Samajwadi Party MPs walked out of the house.
The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) Wednesday said a fresh survey by its pollution-monitoring laboratory had found pesticides in soft drinks collected from plants across 25 states.
It also said that while Pepsi contains 30 times more pesticides, there is a 25 times increase in pesticides in Coca-Cola than 2003.
On Aug 5, 2003, CSE had released its study on pesticides in soft drinks, which was endorsed by a joint parliamentary committee, set up to investigate the veracity of the CSE report.