Perturbed by certain adverse developments against Coca Cola and Pepsi in India recently, Washington has asked New Delhi to ensure "level playing field" to these major US soft drink companies.
US Under Secretary for International Trade Franklin Lavin has written in this regard to Commerce Secretary SN Menon about a fortnight back, days after Kerala imposed a ban on the sale of these soft drinks and five other states prohibited their sale in schools and government offices.
In the letter, Lavin expressed hope that the government will ensure "level playing field" for Coca Cola and Pepsi after the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) alleged that these drinks contain non-permissible quantity of pesticides.
"Secretary Lavin has written a letter," US Embassy spokesman David Kennedy said in New Delhi on Wednesday but expressed inability in providing its contents.
Menon was not available for comment.
Pepsi and its rival Coca Cola came under attack after CSE released its second 'pesticides-in-cola' report in three years on August 2, prompting Kerala to ban the manufacture and sale of cola drinks in the state and inviting less severe action by other states.
CSE claimed presence of "pesticide cocktail" in 11 brands of Coca Cola and PepsiCo.
The new findings, publicised after testing 57 samples of 11 soft drink brands of Coca Cola and PepsiCo across 12 states, claimed that all the bottles examined were a "cocktail of 3-5 different pesticides" which was 24 times above the standards finalised by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).