English, Fake News

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has not issued any official list disclosing the percentage of pesticides found in cold drinks.


A social media post shares a graphic which shows the percentage of pesticides in popular cold drinks sold in India. This data has been allegedly released by the Indian Medical Association (IMA). In this article, we will examine the accuracy of this post to determine its veracity.

Claim: Figures given by IMA about pesticide percentage in various cool drinks.

Fact: In 2003, the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) said that cool drinks contained pesticide residues beyond the permissible limit. But as the post claims, IMA has not released any official report stating the percentage of pesticides in cold drinks sold in India  Therefore, the claim made in the post is False.

Searching the internet to check the veracity of this information did not reveal any credible results. It is known that various posts have been shared on the internet for at least the last 17 years, claiming to be the figures released by the IMA regarding the pesticide percentage. However, in a blog post from 2006, a person mentioned about an e-mail he sent to IMA about the messages. In response, IMA said they had not conducted any such study. FACTLY has also mailed the IMA for further clarification on the matter. This article will be updated after a reply from them.

In 2003, the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) conducted a study on pesticide residues in soft drinks (‘Analysis of Pesticide Residues in Soft Drinks’). They gave the figures in units of ‘mg/L’ (milligrams per litre). They said the average ‘Total pesticide residues’ in the tested samples were about 0.0168 mg/l [Note: 1 milligram = 0.000001 kg]. The study report conducted by the Center for Science and Environment in 2006 can be read here.

A Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) was formed on the 2003 study of CSE with Sharad Pawar as its chairman (here, here, here). The report of the JPC submitted in 2004 can be read here. The JPC report also does not mention any of the numbers mentioned in the post.

To sum up, there is no credible evidence to conclude that any such study was conducted by IMA on the percentage of pesticides in cold drinks.


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