A chemical which is found in most soda drinks might be harmful to the health of drinkers’ states a new report and this one has nothing to do with sugar. The brownish colors that the majority of soft drinks come in have an ingredient which is the chemical 4-methylimidazole. On any United States product labels the substance appears only as “caramel coloring”. Those who that state the compound could possibly cause cancer also include the World Health Organization Agency that does research on cancer and also the state of California. That state now limits manufacturers to just under 30 micrograms of exposure for the regular consumer each day.
Foods which exceed that maximum limit now have to carry a warning label which states that the product contains a chemical known to the state of California to be a cause of cancer. However when a consumer group bought soda products in California and had them evaluated by a lab, the team discovered that one 12 ounce serving of Pepsi One surpassed the levels allowed without having to carry a warning label.
There were nearly a dozen other brands tested by the group which did meet the California standard. This is estimated to help lower the risk of cancer from 4-MeI to about one case in every 100,000. Dr. Urvashi Rangan, who is a toxicologist, exclaimed that the group was concerned about the levels of 4-MeI they discovered in the majority of soft drinks tested and the deviations seen among different brands. There is no reason why customers should be exposed to such unnecessary and preventable cancer risks.
The Food and Drug Administration has yet to set any federal limits on 4-MeI put inside food and drink, and the information gathered by the consumer group showed that in numerous cases patrons living outside California were ingesting a slightly altered ingredient. Pepsi One bought by the group in New York had nearly four times the amount of 4-MeI as the same product purchased the same time in California.
The FDA says that it has no reason to think that 4-Mel presents any type of health risk to customers at the levels in drinks with the brown color, Juli Putman, who is an FDA agency spokesperson stated. The government agency has been testing a different variety of foods and beverages that contain the chemical and are also going over safety data to decide if there should be regulatory action taken toward the chemical.
PepsiCo Inc. stated that their information says that the average consumer drinks less than one-third of one can of diet soda each day; so its product is meeting the standard limits set in California, even if an entire serving were to go over it. Regardless, there are reports which state that the FDA needs to start labeling the ingredients of the caramel colors on foods and drinks where it has been added, so customers are able to make the best choices they can. The chemical 4-Mel, which is found in most soda drinks, is believed to be harmful to the health of drinkers’ says a new research report and it actually has nothing to do with sugar this time.
By Kimberly Ruble
The Washington Post