In India, the farmers have substituted the expensive pesticides with the popular soft drinks, Coca-Cola and Pepsi. So, if they can kill the harmful pests what they can do to the body? Along this specific use, Pepsi and Coca-Cola have been used in many other ways.
According to the Center for Science and Environment in India, the soft drinks produced in India, under the brand Coca-Cola and Pepsi are loaded with high level of pesticides. For this purpose, the farmers use them in the treatment of pests as cheaper alternatives to the conventional pesticides.
In some countries of the third world, it is cheaper to buy Coke than to access some clean water. This drink is a powerful cleaner so that’s why it is very effective for cleaning tile grout, oil stains and paint.
Coke has been tested in many cleaning scenarios and can even compare to high strength brands to clean oil stains, tile grout and even strip paint off your cabinets. In 2003, the CSE analyzed samples from 12 major soft drink manufacturers that are sold in and around the capital at its laboratories and found that all of them contained residues of 4 extremely toxic pesticides and insecticides. Their names are as follows: lindane, DDT, malathion and chlorpyrifos.
In all the samples tested, the levels of pesticide residue far exceeded the maximum permissible total pesticide limit of 0.0005 mg per liter in water used as food, set down by the European Economic Commission (EEC).”
CDS scientists have reported that regarding the EEC limits, the chlorpyrifos level was 42 times higher, the residues of malathion were 87 times higher, and the levels of lindane-, which is banned in the United States-were21 times higher. Moreover, the stated that the toxins were able to lead to long-term cancer, birth defects, damage to the nervous and reproductive systems, and severe disruption of the immune system.
The CSE findings have shown that the Coca-Cola and Pepsi samples had almost similar concentrations of pesticide residues: namely, the contaminants in Pepsi samples were 37 times higher than the EEC norms, Coca-Cola exceeded the norms by 45 times.
Soon the findings were negated by the chiefs of the subsidiaries of Pepsi and Coca-Cola in India.
Sanjeev Gupta, the president of Coca-Cola in India, claimed that the revelations by the agency are “unfair” and the company is subjected to “media trial”.
These companies disagree that the products are utilized instead of pesticides, because they don’t contain anything that could control the pests.
But, farmers in the Dhamtari, Durg and Rajnandgaon districts claim that they utilized Coke and Pepsi to destroy the pests on the rice plantations.
Such usage of the beverages significantly increased the sales in the villages. One liter of the most widely used pesticides in India, Nuvocron, Avant and Tracer costs about 10,000 rupees (which is about £120). But, 1.5 liters of Coca-Cola cost just 30 rupees.
Thus, if a farmer mixes one bottle of Coke or Pepsi with water and applies it on the crops, it would cost him about 60 rupees less per one acre. Still, the effects of these methods aren’t proven!
According to Devendra Sharma, an agricultural specialist, farmers mistakenly believe that the drinks and the pesticides are the same, because these beverages are sugary syrups that attract red ants if poured on crops, which feed on insect larvae.
Also, these beverages weren’t used just for this purpose. Other such soft drinks and locally manufactured beverages worked too, and farmers state that Thumbs Up and Pepsi and many other local soft beverages are also efficient.
The primary ingredients in all colas are water and sugar, but some producers add phosphoric and citric acids.
According to Mr. Sharma, the tradition of using soft drinks for pest control is very old because the farmers used to spray sugar solutions in order to attract red ants which feed with the larvae.
Sanket Thakur states that by using such drinks, the crops get the needed supply of sugar and carbohydrates which improves the plants’ immunity.
The American Coke is loaded with high fructose corn syrup and can be used as an effective pesticide because it contains a concentrated combination of fructose and glucose.
Anupam Verma, the Pepsi sales manager declares that the increased sales are not results of the usage of these drinks. He claims that if this was true, they would rather sell their products as pesticides rather than soft drinks. There is a great profit is selling pesticides than in selling cheap drinks.
Sapna Johnson and H. B. Mathur, CSE scientists state that the production of these soft drinks draw the supplies of groundwater, which is highly contaminated by toxic pesticides.
A study conducted by the government’s Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) found high pesticide residues in the groundwater around Delhi, as well as traces of lead, cadmium, and chromium, excessive salinity, and nitrate and fluoride content.
Moreover, the samples of popular soft drinks which were tested in the CSE laboratories were found to have no pesticides, even though over 95% of them are made with municipal water supplies which contain the same toxins and pharmaceuticals in our drinking water, such as: estrone, fluoride, sulfamethoxazole, arsenic, atrazine, chlorine, atenolol, trimethoprim carbamazepine, and gemfibrozil.
Compared to one of the bottled water industries, the agency discovered that the regulations for the industry of soft drinks industry are weaker, and don’t regulate the quality of cold drink appropriately.
Finally, although we are aware that cola used as pesticide isn’t completely natural and organic, it’s definitely safer that the other traditional pesticides!