The Supreme Court today dismissed the appeals of Coca-Cola and Pepsi Foods against a Rajasthan High Court order asking them to display on bottles the pesticide content of their soft drinks.
The order was to come into force this week but the Supreme Court extended the deadline by two weeks. This was to enable the two companies to move the high court again for certain modifications in the order.
The cola majors want the high court's permission to print warnings on bottles that would say though the soft drink inside may have pesticide traces, their quantity is much less than the prescribed statutory limits.
The high court, on a public interest petition, had ordered the two companies and all other manufacturers of carbonated beverages to "disclose the composition and contents of the products, including the presence of pesticides and chemicals on the bottle, package or container".
The companies argued before an apex court Bench headed by Chief Justice RC Lahoti that the high court order was contrary to the statutory provisions.
The rules, the companies felt, did not require any specific publication of the extent of pesticide residue that might remain in each and every batch of their products.