If this is not another clear sign to leave the sodas alone...well clearly you are addicted to the high
fructose corn syrup in them among others. You have so many choices these days of other good
tasting alternatives. Of course the FDA won't completely come out and admit that is it bad because
that would be admitting their own responsibility, guess who let's all those ingredients slide. And
you'll get the usually posturing from the global corporate giant Pepsi etc. of how safe the product is
to consumers (i.e the reports are unfounded). But folks if it looks like a duck, acts like a duck..it's
a duck and your own funeral. Here's the story:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it will reexamine the use of caramel coloring
in sodas, following a Consumer Reports study that showed 12 soda brands have varying levels
of 4-Mel, an impurity that is a suspected carcinogen. Pepsi One was among two sodas the report
found to have excessive levels.The Food and Drug Administration says there's no reason to believe
that the coloring added to sodas is unsafe. But the agency is taking another look just to make sure.
The agency's announcement comes in response to a study by Consumer Reports that shows 12
brands of soda have varying levels of 4-methylimidazole (also known as 4-Mel) — an impurity found
in some caramel coloring. The FDA says it has studied the use of caramel as a flavor and color additive
for decades but will review new data on the safety of 4-methylimidazole. The agency did not provide
details about the data. There are no federal limits on the amount of 4-methylimidazole in food and drink.
The substance is formed in some caramel coloring at low levels during the manufacturing process.
The FDA says it also can occur in trace amounts when coffee beans are roasted or some meats are
grilled. The Consumer Reports study urged the agency to set a maximum level of the substance when
it is artificially added to foods or soda, to require labeling when it is added and to bar products from
carrying the "natural" label if they contain caramel colors. "There is no reason why consumers need to
be exposed to this avoidable and unnecessary risk that can stem from coloring food and beverages
brown," said Consumer Reports' Dr. Urvashi Rangan, a toxicologist and lead investigator on the study.
Though studies have not been conclusive about whether 4-methylimidazole is a carcinogen, California
includes it on the state list of carcinogens and a state law mandates a cancer warning label on products
that have a certain level of the substance. In reaction to that law, Coke, Pepsi and other soft drink makers
have directed their caramel-color suppliers to reduce the levels of 4-methylimidazole. It is not found in
all caramel colorings. Over an eight-month period, the study found that single 12 oz. servings of two
beverages purchased in California, Pepsi One and Malta Goya, exceeded the 29 micrograms of
4-methylimidazole that are the threshold per day in California but carried no warning. Consumer Reports
has asked the California attorney general's office to investigate; a spokesman for the attorney general
says the office is reviewing the request.
PepsiCo spokeswoman Aurora Gonzalez said the company is "extremely concerned" about the study
and believes it is factually incorrect. Gonzalez said the average amount of soda consumed daily by those
who drink it is less than the 12-ounce can Consumer Reports used as its basis for measurement. As a
result, she said people are not exceeding the limit of 29 micrograms a day. But PepsiCo did not provide
details about how it arrived at its conclusions of daily soda consumption.
"All of Pepsi's products are below the threshold set in California, and all are in full compliance with the law,"
she said. A spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could not point to any recent
data on daily consumption of all sodas, but Beverage Digest, a trade publication that tracks the industry, says
per capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks in the U.S. is 1.3 cans of soda a day. The drinks tested were
Sprite, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, Dr Pepper, Dr. Snap, Brisk Iced Tea, A&W Root Beer, Pepsi, Diet
Pepsi, Pepsi One and Goya Malta. Consumer Reports said there was no significant level found in Sprite,
and consistently low levels were found in Coke products.
Source: NY Daily news