The state government of Kerala in southern India has banned the production and sale of Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said the ban was being imposed because of alleged health hazards posed by the soft drinks.
"We have arrived at the decision to ask both Coke and Pepsi to stop production and distribution of all their products, based on scientific studies which have proved that they are harmful," Achuthanandan said.
Last week, the Center for Science and Environment, a public interest research and advocacy group in India, released a study that found a "cocktail of between three to five different pesticides in all samples" of Coca-Cola and Pepsi products tested in India -- 24 times higher than European Union standards
Production and sale of Coca-Cola and Pepsi products were previously banned in government and educational institutions by many states.
The Supreme Court of India last week ordered Coca-Cola and Pepsico to reveal the ingredients in their products or face a potential national ban.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International