Ethical issues concerning Coca-Cola in India
In 2003, the community near the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Kerala, India protested against the water scarcity and polluted water that resulted from its bottling operations. The allegations caused the closure of the bottling plant. Coca-Cola was banned in the state for these unethical business practices. Soon after the incident, the Center for Science and Environment (CSE), a Delhi-based environmental NGO, released a report indicating the presence of pesticides, greatly exceeding European standards, in a dozen popular beverages sold under the brand names of the Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo. This report raised serious protests all over India on the soft drink industries, especially Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Together, the companies have 90% of the India's soft drink market.
In response to the allegations, Coca-Cola denies them by saying their products are safe and questions the lab reports presented by CSE. The University of Michigan placed the Coca-Cola Company on probation in 2006, and asked for an independent assessment of its operations in India. The soft drinks were examined by an independent lab, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). According to the reports the soft drinks were declared safe and pesticide free. However, the CSE claimed that only the water was tested and not the other ingredients; ingredients such as artificial flavors and sugar. After the reports from TERI were published the government declared soft drinks as safe. However, the problems with some bottling plants still remain, due to the depleting levels of ground water, day by day.
Solid waste and water issue: The communities near the bottling plant in India complained about the passage of sludge as fertilizer, causing health and environmental damage. The most important issue concerning these communities is the depletion of water levels caused by the Coca-Cola bottling... [continues]
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