Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Oct 28, 2004
Industry & Economy
Marketing - Standards & Benchmarks
Purity standards for soft drinks by year-end
Chennai , Oct. 27
PURITY standards for soft drinks are to be finalised by a panel of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in a couple of months, said its members after a meeting in Chennai on Wednesday.
The Carbonated Beverages Sectional Committee, FAD 14 of BIS, on Wednesday decided to form a smaller core committee that would evaluate views received from interested parties and fix standards.
These would then be submitted to the main BIS committee.
Consumer activists, who are a part of the main BIS committee, told the media that Dr M. Sudarshanam, a scientist at the Babha Atomic Research Centre, would head the core committee.
They added that the rest of committee would be drawn from industry, Government institutions and consumer groups.
The decision to appoint a core committee was taken at a day-long BIS committee meeting here after points of dispute between industry and consumer groups remained unresolved.
The meeting, however, finalised a set of standards for alcoholic drinks, said members.
Ms Sunita Narain, Director, Centre for Science and Environment, said that consumer groups wanted "health protective standards" for the caffeine used in soft drinks and standards for the final product sold, whose scope was limited to soft drinks.All these outstanding issues are to be sorted out by the core committee.
Among the other issues that are to be resolved is the one on labels.
Consumer groups want soft drinks makers to have labels on bottles that indicate the implications of caffeine in same size as the name of the soft drink. Also, they want labels in regional languages as soft drinks have penetrated rural markets.
Representatives from soft drink makers, other consumer goods companies, consumer groups and Government institutions attended the BIS committee meeting. The committee was set up following the controversy about the presence of pesticide residue in soft drinks.
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