Drink 1,000 Cans of Soda a Day? You May Have a Problem
The soft drink wars continue to rage — and we’re not talking Coke vs. Pepsi.
The latest battle: whether or not the caramel coloring used in cola contains unsafe levels of a chemical that has been linked to cancer in lab animals.
As Reuters reports, the watchdog group Center for Science in the Public Interest wants the Food and Drug Administration “to ban caramel coloring agents that contain the chemical known as 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MI,” saying that it found unsafe levels of the stuff in cans of Coke, Pepsi, Dr Pepper and Whole Foods–brand 365 Cola.
“Coke and Pepsi, with the acquiescence of the FDA, are needlessly exposing millions of Americans to a chemical that causes cancer,” Michael Jacobson, CSPI executive director, tells the news service. “If companies can make brown food coloring that is carcinogen-free, the industry should use that.”
But before you freak and dump all your Diet Coke down the sink, however, the FDA says the drinks are safe.
“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,” FDA spokesman Doug Karas says in a statement.
“In fact, findings of regulatory agencies worldwide … consider caramel coloring safe for use in foods and beverages,” the group says in a statement.
Unless, of course, you manage to gulp down 1,000 cans of Pepsi today. And, sister, if that happens, we think you’ll have way more troubles on your hands than possible exposure to 4-MI.
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