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Who in Bengal cleared colas?

india Updated: Aug 22, 2006 14:58 IST
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LEFT FRONT Chairman Biman Bose may like his Coke or Pepsi desperately enough to hurry through the clearance. But the state government and the party are wondering what test results is he talking about. Officially, results are still awaited.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Thursday told the media that the government was yet to receive any test reports on the cola adulteration.

Prominent Left Front partner Forward Bloc leader and Consumers' Affairs minister Naren De informed that cola samples had been sent to the National Test House, a central government lab, which would send its report by August 21.

Meanwhile, incensed at not getting an endorsement of its government's ban on colas in Kerala. Front partner CPI state secretary Manju Kumar Majumdar said:

"It's a test report of Bimanbabu. We have no idea how he got it."

Officially, the health department agency has to do the tests. But department officials said they had not been entrusted with any. Moreover Food and Supplies minister Paresh Adhikari disclosed they did not have well-equipped labs for the tests.  So far, the West Bengal Pollution Control Board alone has tested the cola samples in the state at its lab at Paribesh Bhaban in Salt Lake.

The PCB report has found pesticide content, but not approaching "alarming levels", a senior board official said. But the Board's report "has no official recognition. We have done the tests for our research. We can not give the report to any department if they do not want it," he said.