“Now with more Pesticides!”

Fizzy drinks sold by Coca-Cola in Britain have been found to contain pesticides at up to 300 times the level allowed in tap or bottled water. A worldwide study found pesticide levels in orange and lemon drinks sold under the Fanta brand, which is popular with children, were at their highest in the UK. The research team called on the Government, the industry and the company to act to remove the chemicals and called for new safety standards to regulate the soft drinks market.

The industry denies children are at risk and insists that the levels found by researchers based at the University of Jaen in southern Spain are not harmful. The researchers tested 102 cans and bottles of soft drinks, bought from 15 countries, for the presence of 100 pesticides. The UK products were bought in London, Cambridge, Edinburgh, St Andrews and at Gatwick Airport.

The experts said the levels found were low under the maximum residue levels allowed for fruit, but they were ‘very high’ and ‘up to 300 times’ the figure permitted for bottled or tap water.

The chemicals detected included carbendazim, thiabendazole, imazalil, prochloraz, malathion and iprodione. They are mainly applied to fruit after harvest to stop it developing fungal infections and rotting.

A total of 19 products were bought in the UK, all made by Coca-Cola.

You gotta love the Brits they’ll put up with anything, stiff upper lip and all that.

  1. Buzz says:

    Headline may be wrong, or the copy is. 300% implies 3X the other referent. “300 times” implies a 3000% change from the referent in the body copy lead line. One of these is wrong.

  2. RBG says:

    I might be going out on a limb here, but I take it you don’t make water using pesticides.


  3. Personality says:

    They must never get bit by bugs over there!

  4. David says:

    300 times means 30,000% of the original, or 29,900% more. It’s an easy and common mistake that manufacturers often use to their advantage. 300 times is much more clear to most people.

  5. Buzz says:

    Sorry. “300 times” is 30,000%.

  6. David says:

    Wow, though. I wonder how bad it is in the United States. By the way, those pictures are potentially libelous.

  7. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    In other news, reports of tapeworms are down nearly 80%.

  8. Sea Lawyer says:

    Hmm, soft drinks made with juice from pesticide treated fruit contain more pesticides than water?

    #6, probably not much since Fanta sold in the United States apparently does not contain real fruit juice.

  9. Mr. Fusion says:

    300% is 3 times the amount. 100% is equal to “1”. With numbers that high, you don’t express it as a percent.

    From the article,

    Two orange drinks bought in the UK contained imazalil at 300 times the limit permitted for a single pesticide in drinking water.

    Two similar products contained 98 times the legal drinking water limit for thiabendazole.

    The average level of the total pesticide contamination of the British drinks was 17.4 parts per billion – 34.6 times the EU maximum residue level for water.

    To be correct, the headline should have said …”up to 300 times” …

  10. eyeofthetiger says:

    Fruits must not be “washed” for processing. What does carbonated water do to the human specimen?

  11. green says:

    OJ on store shelves has the same high pesticide count, they just don’t test for it. The fruits are rinsed not washed, so whatever chemicals were used on the fruit end up in the final product.

    Mmmm tasty

  12. Ah_Yea says:

    NOW we know it’s not the tea making Brits mushy headed!

  13. chuck says:

    The correct amount of pesticides in water should be 0.

    300 x 0 = 0.

    So what’s the problem? – oh yeah – that someone has decided that there’s an allowable amount of pesticides for water.

  14. Alex Wollangk says:

    When I first read the title of this post I was appalled that there could be more pesticide than water in British soda…

  15. Mr Diesel says:

    Who would have figured that pesticides make your teeth rot out.

  16. ECA says:


  17. Improbus says:

    The most dangerous part of these soft drinks is high fructose corn syrup. That is why I drink unsweetened tea or coffee (water if neither of those are available).

  18. bobbo says:

    The theologians here won’t believe it, but life is chemicals.

    All your chemicals are belong to us.

    Silly Hoomans.

  19. Angel H. Wong says:

    But the pesticides add that “special” kick to an otherwise bland soft drink.

  20. Buzz says:

    Okay, so the thing is 300 TIMES the legal “water” limit. That headline was not derived from the original story, it was made up for this blog. The correct headline should read:

    “Soft Drinks in UK contain 30,000% More pesticides than Tap Water”

    How much room was left for the corn syrup?

  21. soundwash says:

    heh….i bet US tap water and fizzy drinks are no better.. any findings here, if allowed would be suppressed..

    -esp given the recent, last minute gutting of the
    clean water act by the EPA.

    time to move on top of an aquifir? (and get a long straw) ;p


  22. joy says:

    300 times is 30,000% actually.But where this has all gone haywire is that they’re allow to leave a certain amount of pesticide in the drinks.Well at least I know why my bro has been acting so strangely since Christmas…


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