California finally sees Pepsi reacting and taking some form of responsibility after the state told the soda maker more than a year ago that one component of the drink was a chemical carcinogen.
“A carcinogen is any substance, radionuclide , or radiation that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer . This may be due to the ability to damage the genome or to the disruption of cellular metabolic processes. Several radioactive substances are considered carcinogens, but their carcinogenic activity is attributed to the radiation, for example gamma rays, which they emit. Common examples of non-radioactive carcinogens are inhaled asbestos, certain dioxins, and tobacco smoke.” According to Wikipedia.
California slamed Pepsi for using this cancer agent and for trying to poison their citizens. Pepsi is finally taking action as California urged them to do after a report from the Oakland-based Center for Environmental Health (CEH), which found that Pepsi Co’s sodas still contains the chemical methylimidazole, or 4-MEI — a compound found in caramel coloring agents used in sodas, soy sauce, beer, and bread.
Studies from the National Toxicology Program found that mice who were exposed to 4-MEI for long periods had higher rates of lung cancer. In its report, published Wednesday, CEH stated that Pepsi sodas sold within California contains lower amounts of 4-MEI, in compliance with state law, though beverages sold elsewhere in the US still have high levels of the chemical. California law requires labels for all foods that contain cancer-causing agents, which is why both Coca-Cola and Pepsi had to reformulate their caramel coloring. Still, California slamed Pepsi for using the cancer agent and for trying to poison their citizens and not taking immediate action.
Pepsi Co said “We strongly refute any claim that any product we sell anywhere is unsafe. The safety of our products is Pepsi Co’s top priority, and we abide by the regulatory guidelines everywhere we do business, while we meet the strict FDA guidelines, when the regulatory requirements changed in California Pepsi Co moved immediately to meet the new requirements and, in order to maintain a harmonized supply chain, globally committed to rolling out the changes across the rest of the US and internationally.”
Curiously enough, CEH noted that it did not find elevated levels of 4-MEI in any other products, including Coca-Cola, which recently adopted a different caramel coloring agent. This raised the question, why Pepsi doesn’t switch to the same caramel coloring agent as Coca-Cola. Our health should be priority number one and if they don’t think so, we should no longer buy Pepsi until they have switched this situation around. (Indeed it’s not healthy for us to drink sodas anyway but nobody is a 100% healthy all the time. Most people try to adhere to a healthy lifestyle, but don’t like to order “a glass of water” in a bar when their friends all order beers/cocktails.)
What is your take on this? Should we stand strong and tall with California who slams Pepsi for using this cancer agent? Should we all be so brave and just stick to water? Or are we bound to go for that one tall glass with the clinking ice cubes in it, filled with Pepsi and apparently the cancer chemical carcinogen?
By Georgina Pijttersen