- New study: Nationwide study confirms pesticides in soft drinks
- Editorial: Globalisers retreating into little shells
- Debate: Experts debate why the Indian cotton market is driving farmers
- Gobar Times: The 'must-buy' generation
- News: Dispute over forest and revenue land in Himachal Pradesh
- Science: Nitrogen fixing plants to reduce fertiliser dependence
- Science: Carbon dioxide emissions threaten marine life
Cola war: CSE still finds unsafe levels of pesticides in soft drinks
Three years ago, we released our report on pesticides in soft drinks.
A Joint Parliamentary Committee was set up to investigate the matter.
In February 2004 it published its report, endorsed our findings and
directed the government to set up standards for soft drinks. But since
then little has happened.
In our latest cover story in Down To Earth, we reveal how the companies
have worked the system to their advantage so that standards, which
have been finalised, have not been notified. Read how the letter of
the health secretary was strategically used by companies to meet their
objectives. Read the companies' reasons for not having standards and
how these are completely wrong.
But that is only half the story. We also wanted to know if the companies
have cleaned up their products. We checked. We collected bottles from
across the country and tested them in our pollution monitoring laboratory.
This time, the laboratory was accredited and we used advanced GC-MS
equipment to reconfirm the findings.
We found that nothing has changed -- the drinks are still unsafe.
All bottles we checked had pesticides in levels far exceeding the
standards laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The problem
is that these standards have been finalised but not notified. The
reason for this is simple.
The Ministry of Health maintains that it must do long term research
before it can finalise standards. It does not explain why this research
has not been done in the past three years.
We hope that the government will not play into the hands of the
industry this time around, and will finally set mandatory standards.
We know that this is a small step in the battle for regulations, and
clean food and water. But it is an important one and we need your
support. Do read our research and post comments on our message board.
We have said in Down To Earth, "We don't know if we will survive.
But we know that the issues we are concerned with, will gain strength.
They are too important to be knocked around by a few companies, even
if they are the world's most powerful ones. These issues concern our
bodies. Our health."
- Sunita Narain, Chandra Bhushan, Kushal Yadav and the rest of the
Read the latest cover story: Cola casualties>>
For comments email>>
Editorial: Globalisers retreating into little shells
By Sunita Narain
In 20 years, the world has come full circle: in the mid-1980s the
process of globalisation intensified with the rich countries taking
the lead in interconnecting countries because it was in their interest.
Now in 2006, the same rich countries find the process of globalisation
- economic and ecological- too hot to handle.
Read the full editorial online>>
Debate: Panel of experts debate what drives cotton farmers to suicide
Cotton farmers are caught in a vortex of debt accentuated by faulty
extension services, discriminatory international trade regimes and
skewed tariffs. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra
have thus seen a spate of farmer suicides. CSE organised a round table
of experts to debate what can be done. Read views from top economists,
farmers, scientists and from industry.
Read full article>>
Environment for beginners: Gobar Times
Today, commercials for all consumer goods - from burgers to bikes
- are created with a specific age group in mind. From three-year-old
tots to eighteen-year-old young adults. Companies across the world
are spending billions to "get em while they are young". Result? Kids
are moving from cradles straight to the shop counters with remarkable
ease. But what does the future hold for this "Must-buy" generation?
Find out in this issue of Gobar Times>>
Green schools - Login at http://www.cseindia.org/programme/eeu/gsp_index.htm
download the latest activity sheet. This month's topic is electricity.
More in Down To Earth magazine
News: Dispute over forest and revenue land in Himachal Pradesh
A Rs. 550 Crore (USD 120 million) Hero Honda plant in Himachal Pradesh
was to be the driver of industrial expansion in the state. The project
breezed through the clearance process. But dispute over the classification
of land has brought the project to a halt. Sixty seven percent of
the state's land belongs the forest department. Ever since the Forest
Conservation Act (FCA) 1980 came into force, disputes over land has
become more intense.
Read complete article>>
Science: Nitrogen fixing plants that may reduce global fertiliser
A team of scientists have published a study in Nature that might
lead the way for genetically modify crops to fix nitrogen from the
air, reducing dependence on nitrogen fertilisers. Production of nitrogen
fertilisers accounts for half the fossil fuel used in agriculture
Read complete article>>
Science: Carbon dioxide emissions threaten marine life
Global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are altering
ocean chemistry and threatening marine organisms, including coral
reefs, says a US report.
Read complete article>>
CSE is an independent, public interest organisation that was established
in 1982 by Anil Agarwal, a pioneer of India's environmental movement.
CSE's mandate is to research, communicate and promote sustainable
development with equity, participation and democracy.
Contact CSE: http://www.cseindia.org/aboutus/feedback.htm
E-mail: < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Address: 41 Tughlakabad Institutional Area, New Delhi - 110062
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