We already knew that soda makes you gain weight and now it seems that the caramel coloring used in soda can also potentially cause cancer. The use of this harmful chemical has prompted California to create a law that mandates drinks containing a certain level of carcinogens come with a cancer warning label. As a result, Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. are changing the way they make the caramel coloring.
The companies said the changes will be expanded nationally to streamline their manufacturing processes. They’ve already been made for drinks sold in California. A representative for Coca-Cola, Diana Garza-Ciarlante, said the company directed its caramel suppliers to modify their manufacturing processes to reduce the levels of the chemical 4-methylimidazole, which can be formed during the cooking process and, as a result, may be found in trace amounts in many foods.
“While we believe that there is no public health risk that justifies any such change, we did ask our caramel suppliers to take this step so that our products would not be subject to the requirement of a scientifically unfounded warning.”
A spokesman for the Food and Drug Administration noted that a consumer would have to drink more than 1,000 cans of soda a day to reach the doses administered that have shown links to cancer in rodents and the American Beverage Association also noted that California added the coloring to its list of carcinogens with no studies showing that it causes cancer in humans, and that the listing was based on a single study in lab mice and rats.
Scientifically unfounded warning or not, the fact that there is a chance someone could potentially develop cancer from drinking soda is just another reason for Americans to cut ties with soda products or at the very least cut back on their consumption.
Does this new warning make you want to quit soda even more?