Indian court demands formula for pesticide-filled Coke

The Indian high court has ordered Coke and Pepsi to produce the formulas for their soft-drinks, on the back of a report that says that Pepsi contains 30 times the amount of pesticide reported in 2003, while Coke's level has gone up 25-fold.

The report, published on Wednesday, caused a row in India's lower house, where MPs from across the political spectrum brandished its findings as reason enough to ban the sale of Coca-Cola and Pepsi. "These companies are playing with the lives of millions and we can't ignore such warnings any more," said Vijay Kumar Malhotra, from the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, which staged a walkout over the issue .

It is not the first time Coca-Cola and Pepsi have found themselves mired in controversy in India. They are regular whipping boys for politicians who regard Western food products as a threat to Indian heritage, although sceptics suggest that their opposition has more to do with the companies' virtual monopoly of the market than genuinely held feelings of cultural protectionism.