New Delhi, Aug. 7: Two days after the Dirty Dozen report on pesticide residue in soft drinks, Coca-Cola and Pepsi reached out to the consumer to calm health fears.
With advertisements in newspapers, Coke and Pepsi tried to convince the consumer that all is well with their fizzy drinks.
Annie Cyriac, vice-president, corporate communications for Pepsi Foods Private Ltd, said: “Right now, we are keeping all the channels of communication open to the consumers to tell them that we are offering best quality products to them.”
Cyriac said the company has not yet decided whether it will mount a similar campaign in the electronic media.
Coke officials, who have been more secretive about their plans to deal with the crisis, said their products were above board and they were putting across their message to the public through advertisements in newspapers.
Is the consumer buying the defence'
A straw poll on moneycontrol.com, a CNBC-TV18 website, showed that 86.95 per cent of the respondents did not believe Coke and Pepsi adopted in India the exacting standards of production in Europe and the US.
The sample size in such polls is usually far too small to arrive at any firm conclusions.
Pepsi’s newspaper ad says the drinks are tested for not only the four pesticides — DDT, malathion, chloropyrifos and lindane — named in the report by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), but also 41 others.
It has opened its test results to the public at the website of VIMTA.com/cert.php with the password Cattle 51. VIMTA is the Hyderabad-based laboratory where, the companies said on Tuesday — when the report alleging presence of pesticide residue in quantities higher than international standards was unveiled — they get their products tested.
In its ad, Coke has reiterated that the drinks manufactured in India conform to the same high quality as in the US and Europe and that there are no double standards.
The CSE has dismissed the data produced by the two, saying that it “is only another attempt by these giant companies to hoodwink us”. It said the data relate to their bottled water brands, Kinley and Aquafina, and have nothing to do with their soft drinks.