Potential Carcinogen In Colas Has FDA Reviewing Data
January 23, 2014
A new study from Consumer Reports finds varying levels of a chemical compound classified as a possible human carcinogen in many popular brands of soda.
The findings have prompted the Food and Drug Administration to take a new look at the compound, 4-methylimidazole — or 4-MEI for short. It is found in the caramel color that soda makers use to dye the drinks brown.
Under California’s Prop 65, the chemical is included on a state list of substances that can cause cancer. An arm of the World Health Organization has classified 4-MEI as a possible carcinogen.
Testing by Consumer Reports found very low levels of 4-MEI in Coca-Cola, Coke Zero and Diet Coke.
As we’ve reported, 4-MEI was greatly reduced in Coke products after Coke worked with its supplier to reformulate the caramel manufacturing process.
But the study did find higher levels of the compound in some Pepsi products, particularly in Pepsi One. During an eight-month period, the researchers purchased a dozen 12-ounce servings of Pepsi One from different batches at stores in California.