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Carcinogen Found In Almost All Soda -- with VIDEO

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Post by Ponee Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:53 am

Carcinogen Found In Almost All Soda
 
 
4-MeI is a potential carcinogen created in the manufacturing of some types of caramel coloring that are used to make sodas brown. See what Consumer Reports found when it tested several soft drinks including Pepsi, Coke and Malta Goya: http://bit.ly/1eVBCoK
 

 
Caramel color: The health risk that may be in your soda
It’s the most common coloring in foods and drinks—and it can contain a potential carcinogen. Here’s what Consumer Reports found when it tested soft drinks that have caramel color.
Published: January 23, 2014 06:00 AM
 
Caramel color, added to many soft drinks and some foods to turn them brown, may sound harmless, even appetizing. But in no way does it resemble real caramel. Some types of this artificial coloring contain a potentially carcinogenic chemical called 4-methylimidazole (4-MeI). Under California’s Proposition 65 law, any food or beverage sold in the state that exposes consumers to more than 29 micrograms of 4-MeI per day is supposed to carry a health-warning label. In recent Consumer Reports’ tests, each of the 12-ounce samples of Pepsi One and Malta Goya had more than 29 micrograms per can or bottle. While we cannot say that this violates California's Prop 65, we believe that these levels are too high, and we have asked the California Attorney General to investigate.
 
Caramel color is the single most used food coloring in the world, according to a 2013 report from market research firms Mintel and Leatherhead Food Research. “There’s no reason why consumers should be exposed to an avoidable and unnecessary risk that can stem from coloring food brown,” says Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., toxicologist and executive director of Consumer Reports’ Food Safety & Sustainability Center. “Manufacturers have lower 4-MeI alternatives available to them. Ideally there would be no 4-MeI in food.”
The risks
In 2007, a federal government study concluded that 4-MeI caused cancer in mice and the International Agency for Research on Cancer determined the chemical to be “possibly carcinogenic to humans” in 2011. There’s no federal limit for levels of 4-MeI in foods and beverages, but as of January 7, 2012 California requires manufacturers to label a product sold in the state with a cancer warning if it exposes consumers to more than 29 micrograms of 4-MeI per day. In this case, the exposure comes from consumption.
 
The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment used 29 micrograms as the cut off point because that’s the level they determined poses a one in 100,000 risk of cancer—that is, no more than one excess cancer case per 100,000 people who are exposed to that amount daily for a lifetime.
 
Consumer Reports’ experts think even that risk is too high. “It’s possible to get more than 29 micrograms of 4-MeI in one can of some of the drinks we tested. And even if your choice of soft drink contains half that amount, many people have more than one can per day,” says Rangan. “Given that coloring is deliberately added to foods, the amount of 4-MeI in them should pose a negligible risk, which is defined as no more than one excess cancer case in 1 million people.” To meet that risk level, Consumer Reports’ experts say a soft drink would need to contain about 3 micrograms or less per can.
Carcinogen Found In Almost All Soda -- with VIDEO CRO_CFA_HealthNews_Carmel_SodaGroupShot_1-14
These brands of soft drinks all contained varying levels of 4-MeI.
 
 
How we tested
Consumer Reports* tested 81 cans and bottles of various popular brands of soft drinks from five manufacturers between April and September 2013. We purchased the products from stores in California and the New York metropolitan region. In December 2013, we bought and tested 29 new samples, again from the same areas, of those brands that had initially tested above 29 micrograms per can or bottle in either location.
 
 
What we found

While our study was not large enough to recommend one brand over another, both rounds of testing found that the level of 4-MeI in the samples of Pepsi One and Malta Goya purchased in both locations exceeded 29 micrograms per can or bottle. The products we purchased in California did not have a cancer-risk warning label.
 
 
In our initial testing, some of the other brands we bought in California had average levels around or below 29 micrograms per can, but the New York area samples of those same brands tested much higher. In our second test, though, the levels in the New York samples had come down. For example, regular Pepsi from the New York area averaged 174 micrograms in the first test and 32 micrograms in the second. “The fact that we found lower amounts of 4-MeI in our last round of tests suggests that some manufacturers may be taking steps to reduce levels, which would be a step in the right direction,” says Dr. Rangan
 
On average, three of the brands—Coke, Diet Coke, and Coke Zero—came in under 5 micrograms per can in our tests, a level Consumer Reports’ experts believe is more acceptable. Sprite, a clear soda that was tested as a control, showed no significant levels of 4-MeI. (See chart below or download a PDF of the chart.)

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/01/caramel-color-the-health-risk-that-may-be-in-your-soda/index.htm?EXTKEY=I93YT01&CMP=OTC-YUTBE

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