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Health ministry seeks apology from Pepsi
August 25, 2003 20:38 IST
Taking a serious note of a "misleading" advertisement announcing that the Union Health Minister Sushma Swaraj had given a clean chit to soft drink major Pepsico, the ministry on Monday sought "unconditional apology" from the company and also withdrawal of the advertisement.
Reacting to it, Pepsi said the ministry's directions were being complied with and added that it had meant no offence with its advertisement.
Questioning motives behind the advertisement in the newspapers on August 22, the ministry told the company "your advertisement is misleading as only a part of one sentence given in the statement of the minister before the Lok Sabha has been used in the advertisement".
"It is obvious that the remaining part of the sentence has been willfully concealed with questionable motives," Deepak Gupta, joint secretary in the ministry said.
Stating that the minister's statement noted that pesticide residues had been found in all the samples tested, and in nine of these samples the pesticicdes residues were found to be above the prescribed EU norms, he said "thus your claim that your product is conforming to EU norms is not true".
"Using the minister's name for promoting sale of your product is extremely unethical and also violative of established norms of advertisements," he said seeking withdrawal of the advertisement and an unconditional apology from the company."This is without prejudice to any further action which the government may propose to take in this matter", he warned.