Monday, August 07, 2006

Don't Drink That Indian Coke (or Pepsi)

This is interesting.... the Indian government has widened a ban on Coke and Pepsi, after testing revealed excessively high levels of pesticides in the soft drinks. This is apparently not all that strange in India, where large amounts of pesticides make their way into ground water. As a result of this controversy, the Indian Supremem Court ruled on Friday that Coke must reveal its secret recipe so that the cause of the increased pesticide levels can be properly researched. (Why wasn't the same ruling levied at Pepsi?) Coke, of course, is unlikely to do this; according to the article, Coke pulled out of India in 1977 rather than follow a similar order.

Coke and Pepsi have been the subject of many protests recently, due to a combination of both anti-Americanism/globalization of which the giant multinational are taken to be a symbal and the recent findings of unhealthy levels of pesticides. However, of all the things in the article that I found fascinating, I must admit that this was the most interesting:
Cans of Coca-Cola were poured down the throats of donkeys in one protest this weekend, while activists from regional political parties smashed cola bottles made by both companies and attacked several shops in Delhi where the drinks were on sale. Protesters in Calcutta burned bottles of Coca-Cola.
First, I'm not sure what the poor donkeys did to deserve pesticide-ladened Coke; why wouldn't you just pour them out or smash the bottles? I wonder if they bought the Coke to do this, as reportedly happened during the anti-French protests in the US leading up to the invasion of Iraq, when protesters would buy French wine in order to pour it out in protest.

Second, how exactly do you burn bottles of soda???


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