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Coke, Pepsi welcome Govt's pronouncement on safety

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo said they would not sue CSE and would focus on restoring consumer confidence in their products

business Updated: Aug 21, 2003 15:15 IST

Soft drink majors Coca-Cola and Pepsi on Thursday welcomed the Government's announcement that their products are safe.

"We have the utmost praise and respect for the (Health and Family Welfare) Ministry's leadership on this issue and have full faith in the Indian authorities to develop science-based standards," Coca-Cola India president Sanjiv Gupta said in a statement jointly issued with PepsiCo.

"We have never doubted the quality of our soft drinks as we have unwavering commitment to consumer safety. This announcement will ensure continued trust in our brands," he added.

PepsiCo chairman Rajiv Bakshi said: "the Government has categorically declared our products safe. We are pleased that the ministry shares our confidence in the safety of our products".

Asked whether the company would take legal action against the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) for alleging that its products contained pesticides far higher than allowed, Gupta said: "we are not suing CSE. Our focus will instead be to restore consumer confidence in our products".

He said Coca-Cola's sales have been affected by as much as 15 per cent in some areas after the allegations were first made public by CSE.

"But sales have been rebounding since last week. We plan to alter our communication plank for the near future and talk to the consumer about the safety of our products".

First Published: Aug 21, 2003 15:15 IST