2006/08/22


Kerala sticks it to the man

The government of the Indian state of Kerala has taken a historic step in the globalisation battle (ie. the rights of local communites versus the rapacious money-lust of international corporations).

Not only have they banned Coca-Cola Co. and Pepsi Co. from operating bottling plants in Kerala, they have taken it one step further and banned even the SALE of Coke and Pepsi products in their state.

From Counterpunch:

The Coca-Cola bottling plant in Plachimada has remained shut down since March 2004 because of community opposition. Government and independent studies have confirmed the presence of toxic waste around Coca-Cola's bottling plants across India. "We will take steps to close down the Pepsi factory in Puddussery village in Palakkad district of Kerala," the chief minister added.

Last week, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a leading public interest research and advocacy group in India, released a study that found a "cocktail of between three to five different pesticides in all samples" of Coca-Cola and Pepsi products they tested in India. On an average, the CSE study said, the pesticide residues were 24 times higher than European Union (EU) standards and those proposed by the Bureau of India Standards (BIS), the government body responsible for standardization and quality control.


(snip)

Efforts are underway in India to develop regulations that will govern safety standards for soft drinks to ensure consumer safety. The Centre for Science and Environment has accused the Coca-Cola company and Pepsico, as well as "powerful interests in the government", of blocking the adoption of the standards.

"The government of India must also ensure that there are laws that protect our groundwater, and that regulations are in place to put an end to the kinds of rampant pollution that we have seen with the Coca-Cola company," said Amit Srivastava of the India Resource Center, an international campaigning organization.

The Supreme Court of India has also ordered Coca-Cola and Pepsico to reveal the ingredients in their products in six weeks, or face a potential national ban.


On a side note, one interesting statistic I read (that I have no immediate link for) is that it takes 4 litres of good, potable water to produce 1 litre of Coca-Cola.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kerala is a nazi state!

PALGOLAK said...

WTF are you talking about? If anything, Kerala is the opposite of a nazi state.

Consulting wikipedia (the most reliable source of information IN THE UNIVERSE) shows that the largest party in Kerala state's ruling coalition is The CPI (M)-- the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

But perhaps you are unaware of what a "nazi" is?

Anonymous said...

nazi, communist. It's the same leftist bull$h*t that acts under the guise of "protecting" the public when in fact they are consolidating their power.

The CSE has been known to falsify data to pursue its own agenda.

PALGOLAK said...

In reply to the last reply, I suppose that if one were to approach the definition of "nazis" or "communists" from a libertarian perspective there is no big difference. But there is a great difference between the two for those of us that pine for the "Star Trek" future , rather than the impending "Road Warrior" future, yo.

Additionally, who or what might the "CSE" be?

Anonymous said...

CSE you dumbfuck is the Communications Security Establishment CSE is a federal government agency tasked with gathering communications intelligence and protecting Canadian government communications and information

PALGOLAK said...

Awooga! Awooga!

Snotty Teenage Libertarian in the house!

The Commentator said...

Nazism is a derivative of (or at least direct descendant) Fascism which is on the right side of the political scale. This guy is not nice at all. He talks like a leftist. I don't know if Wikipedia is the most 'reliable' it's edited by individuals without any guarded standards. Still, I use it. Most of the time it is very useful.

Anonymous said...

I believe the obvious right-wing individual is referring to the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) who conducted studies in Delhi that found unsafe levels of pesticides in soft drinks.

Details of their studies can be found at: http://www.cseindia.org/misc/cola-indepth/cola2006/cola_press2006.htm

Anonymous said...

The above link was cut off. I've used a neat little web site to forward you to the correct site.

http://tinyurl.com/jrqsf

PALGOLAK said...

To clear a couple of things up:

Commentator: I believe, from what the first anonymous reader said, that he is a Libertarian. The Libertarian view of the political left-right range is:

far left=total government power over the individual

far right=total human liberty (ie. the law of the jungle).

By this standard, nazism and communism are equally 'far left' since in both the wants of the individual are inferior to the demands of the state.

That was why I made the comparison of the "Road Warrior" scenario (ie. "Get off my land") vs. the "Star Trek" scenario ("Money? We don't use it any more. Everyone has a replicator").

Regarding the comments of the last Anonymous, your points in vindication of the heinous behaviour of the Cola companies are well noted.

However, I don't think the Snotty Teenage Libertarian was, in fact, referring to "Centre for Science and Environment".

That sounds a little too non-libertarian. Whereas "Communications Security Establishment" fits right into the paranoid anti-government pigeonhole which I have mentally created for him. Tada!

The_Razor said...

obviously I was refering to the fu*king Centre for Science and Environment dumba$$!!!!! They made up the data to support the indian government's propogranda

why the fu*k would Canada's Communications Security Establishment write about india's cola industry?!?!?!?!

PALGOLAK said...

So!

One of the anonymous repliers has identifed him/herself as the_razor.

Since it was an anonymous replier that wrote "CSE you dumbfuck is the Communications Security Establishment" I am sure the_razor will forgive me for taking those thoughts for his/hers. (BTW,it is ok to type 'fuck', we are all virtual adults here.}

Now that this has been, to a certain degree, cleared up, I can respond to the_razor's comments: I don't think it is at all usual for the CSE to criticise multinational corporations. India, like China, has a deeply corrupt bureaucracy, maybe that is inevitable when there is 1 billion + people living in one national jurisdiction.

What is different is that an indian NGO is actually doing what it is supposed to do. Do you, the_razor, really think that international corporations have no money pull in a place like India?

If they rule in North America, how much license would they have in India? Look at Union Carbide, for example...