NEW DELHI, (AP) – The High Court in the southern Indian state of Kerala on Friday overturned a ban on the production and sale of Coca-Cola and Pepsi in the state.
The bans were imposed after a New Delhi-based private research group alleged the soft drinks had high levels of pesticides in them.
“We are gratified that High Court of Kerala has set aside the illegal order,” Coca-Cola India said in a statement. “Coca-Cola India has always been completely confident of the safety of its soft drinks in India.”
The Kerala ban was the harshest across India, where seven of the country’s 28 states imposed partial or complete bans on Coke, Pepsi, Sprite and other drinks from the companies after the Center for Science and Environment made the allegations Aug. 3.
More than 10,000 schools have banned the beverages.
Although many food products in India contain harmful pesticides, the Center for Science and Environment said it focused on Coca-Cola and PepsiCo because they account for nearly 80 percent of India’s $2 billion soft drink market.