FDA Urged to Ban carcinogenic “caramel coloring”

The caramel color of your Pepsi or Coke drink isn’t coming from sugar.  They are coming from 2 cancer causing chemicals, which the Center for Science and Public Interest has urged the FDA to ban in a petition.

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The artificial colors found in these drinks are made by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites.  This chemical reaction makes compounds 2-methylimidazole and 4 methylimidazole.  Long term exposure to these compounds increased lung, liver or thyroid cancer in mice or rats, according to a study done in 2007 by the government’s National Toxicology Program [source].

It was this finding that prompted California to add compound 4 methylimidazole (or 4-MI) to it’s list of known carcinogens in 2011.  This created a problem for the soda giants.  On March 7, 2012 Coke modified their caramel color to avoid a warning label.  That caramel color would have warranted a cancer warning label on every can of soda.  The change forced Coke and Pepsi to go to their caramel suppliers and request a new formula which will reduce the amount of the chemical 4-MI found in soda now.

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“Coke and Pepsi, with the acquiescence of the FDA, are needlessly exposing millions of Americans to a chemical that causes cancer,” CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson says in a news release.

According to the FDA,”it  is important to understand that a consumer would have to consume well over a thousand cans of soda a day to reach the doses administered in the studies that have shown links to cancer in rodents.”

My question is why take the risk?  Why expose millions of people to these harmful chemicals in the first place?  Money, that’s why!  The bottom line isn’t your health or mine, it’s the almighty dollar.  Which is why it’s so important to KNOW what you’re eating and make informed decisions for you and your children.

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