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Vyapari Vyavasayi Samithi calls for ban on Coke, Pepsi

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Vyapari Vyavasayi Samithi calls for ban on Coke, Pepsi
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Thiruvananthapuram: The traders in Kerala have called for a state-wide ban on Coke and Pepsi products.

Talking to the media, the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Samithi officials on Wednesday said the traders affiliated to the Samithi would stop selling Coke and Pepsi products from March 14. The decision is in protest against the water exploitation of the soft drink companies.

“We won’t hold any discussions with the Coke and Pepsi companies. The decision is absolute. The Samithi will hold discussions with the government on the matter. We hope our move will be supported by the government,” Samithi officials said.

They, however, said that the traders would sell soft drinks of domestic companies.

Earlier, the Traders’ Federation in Tamil Nadu had banned sales of Coca Cola and Pepsi soft drinks. The ban came into effect on March 1 with the Federation President A M Vikrama Raja declaring the drinks as 'toxic' for consumption.

"About 70 per cent of the (15 lakh) traders have decided to boycott the sales of Coke and Pepsi from today onwards for their toxic nature. Whatever you find on the shelves of the stores are leftover stocks and those not taken back by the (distributing) agencies," he said.

Raja had earlier proposed a ban on sale of these brands at the height of pro-jallikattu protests in the state in January, where it was widely claimed that many international groups may have been behind the ban on the bull taming sport.

Raja had then said that the youth and students who were part of that movement had extended their support to the cause of banning these soft drinks.

Reacting to the call to boycott products of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo India, the Indian Beverage Association said it was "deeply disappointed".

"This is against the proven fundamentals of robust economic growth, and against the clarion call of Make in India," it said.

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