Friday, Oct 31, 2003
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According to sources, the company's letter seeking a meeting is currently under consideration and it is likely to be asked to make a presentation in the first week of December. The letter was received only a few days ago and the date of hearing would be decided soon.
Meanwhile, bottled water manufacturers today urged the JPC to ask the Union Health Ministry to stay the implementation of its notification prescribing new standards for bottled water till the JPC finalised its recommendations. Deposing before the JPC, representatives of the Indian Bottled Water Manufacturers Association submitted that since ground water was the main raw material in the case of production of both bottled water and soft drinks and consequently its quality was the main issue before the JPC, it would be better if the Government was asked to stay the implementation of its notification.The notification is to come into effect from January 1, 2004The Association also pointed out that on the JPC's instructions, the Government had recently deferred the introduction of similar quality standards for soft drinks.In a related development, some JPC members have urged its Chairman, Sharad Pawar, to ask the Union Health Minister, Sushma Swaraj, to appear before the panel to clarify why there were differences between the test results of CSIR's Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, and those of the Health Ministry's Central Food Laboratory, Kolkata, and why the Union Health Ministry came out with a draft notification prescribing new limits for pesticide residues and several other chemical elements in soft drinks and other beverages, even when the panel had been set up specifically with a view to looking into the quality standards for such commodities.
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