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News & Politics News & Politics

Cancer Causing Cola

Posted by on Jan. 24, 2014 at 1:40 AM
  • 24 Replies
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There was a warning issued Thursday about the soft drinks you and your children may be consuming every day.

Consumer Reports says some of them contain a possible cancer-causing chemical, CBS 2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported.

The issue is with the caramel coloring in many soft drinks. It is what gives them their brown color. Some contain a possible human carcinogen.

Why is it in there? Can it be removed and what can you do to protect yourself? Here’s what you need to know:

Cola is one of the most popular soft drinks in the country, but now a study from Consumer Reports says that the caramel coloring additive that gives cola — and many other soft drinks — its brown color, can contain a harmful chemical called 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MEI.

“It was in fact … definitely causes cancer in animal studies. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has also classified 4-MEI as a possible human carcinogen,” Dr. Urvashi Rangan said.

As Dr. Gomez reported, 4-MEI is a byproduct when caramel color is manufactured, but it’s not in all caramel coloring and amounts vary widely in caramel-colored drinks, even when the same brands were tested just a few months apart.

“Coke came in at a negligible cancer level at one can of Coke. That said, we found other manufacturers — like Pepsi — really quite a lot higher than Coke,” Dr. Rangan said. “Malta Goya, which is a Hispanic soft drink, was actually at 300 or more micrograms per 12-ounce serving.”

There’s no flavor reason for the caramel coloring. It’s strictly cosmetic. So California recently required warning labels on any food or beverages containing more than 29 micrograms of 4-MEI. But there are no such federal requirements, so your only way to avoid 4-MEI is to look for caramel coloring on the label, Dr. Gomez reported.

Pepsi responded to the Consumer Reports study on Thursday, saying the average amount of diet soda consumed by people is just 100 milliliters. For that reason the company believes that Pepsi One does not require cancer-risk warning labels.

One hundred milliliters is less than a third of a can of soda. A full can does exceed the California limit.

CBS 2 contacted Goya Foods on Thursday, but it declined to comment on the Consumer Reports study.

The variability in 4-MEI levels comes from how the caramel color is manufactured and who supplies the coloring to the soft drink maker. So it’s possible to minimize the 4-MEI in caramel coloring.

By the way, drinks labeled “natural” also contained caramel coloring. So make sure to read the ingredients.


http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/01/23/shock-study-some-soft-drinks-contain-cancer-causing-chemical/
by on Jan. 24, 2014 at 1:40 AM
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Replies (1-10):
jcrew6
by Jenney on Jan. 24, 2014 at 7:34 AM
1 mom liked this

I read this in a science journal link my friend sent me.  If people care about their body, they really should make better choices.  Alas, people drink soda, alcohol,  smoke cigerettes, pot, eat fatty foods...  All personal choices that can lead to a problem if people don't own their responsibility...

kcangel63
by Amanda on Jan. 24, 2014 at 12:08 PM
Everyone knows soda is bad for you. I know. I drink it on occasion. I know the risks, and now know the risks to the Carmel color too.

Quoting jcrew6:

I read this in a science journal link my friend sent me.  If people care about their body, they really should make better choices.  Alas, people drink soda, alcohol,  smoke cigerettes, pot, eat fatty foods...  All personal choices that can lead to a problem if people don't own their responsibility...

Citygirlk
by on Jan. 24, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Good thing we don't drink soda.

gludwig2000
by Gina on Jan. 24, 2014 at 6:57 PM

 Wow, we all know that soft drinks aren't good for you, but this is just one more reason. Luckily, in my house, we aren't cola drinkers, so this in one less risk.

Farmlady09
by Silver Member on Jan. 24, 2014 at 8:23 PM
3 moms liked this

I make ginger ale and root beer/birch beer, but not with anything but yeast, raw sugar or honey, and natural flavoring. There is a mild alcohol content, but not enough that I'd worry about it ... and it sure doesn't have the manufactured crud in it. Mostly it's something we have in the spring or the fall as an occasional treat.

kcangel63
by Amanda on Jan. 24, 2014 at 8:25 PM
1 mom liked this
I make water kefir soda. The kids love it. It's higher in probiotics than yogurt too.

Quoting Farmlady09:

I make ginger ale and root beer/birch beer, but not with anything but yeast, raw sugar or honey, and natural flavoring. There is a mild alcohol content, but not enough that I'd worry about it ... and it sure doesn't have the manufactured crud in it. Mostly it's something we have in the spring or the fall as an occasional treat.

Farmlady09
by Silver Member on Jan. 24, 2014 at 9:07 PM
1 mom liked this

I haven't played around much with different types just because soda isn't something DH and I normally indulge in. We do both like root beer, but generally we're happy with it once in a great while because we don't like much in the way of sweet things. I cringe when I see how much sugar is estimated to be used by people. Even with baking cookies for Christmas I use less than a 10 pound bag all year of the white stuff. We do use brown sugar (raw sugar with unsulferd molasses added) for oatmeal and such, but even that adds up to less than 10 pounds a year.

I know that making things from scratch takes a little more time, but it's only a LITTLE time. Given how much info is available, I don't understand people who insist they can't manage more than just schlepping together fake food from a box with some water added. Ick. Just ick.

Quoting kcangel63: I make water kefir soda. The kids love it. It's higher in probiotics than yogurt too.

Quoting Farmlady09:

I make ginger ale and root beer/birch beer, but not with anything but yeast, raw sugar or honey, and natural flavoring. There is a mild alcohol content, but not enough that I'd worry about it ... and it sure doesn't have the manufactured crud in it. Mostly it's something we have in the spring or the fall as an occasional treat.

 

JanuaryBaby06
by on Jan. 24, 2014 at 9:57 PM

We don't drink soda in this house but I like the heads up about the carmel! Now, I know to keep an eye out. Thanks!

kcangel63
by Amanda on Jan. 24, 2014 at 10:56 PM
Generally speaking, homemade is far superior. ;)

Quoting Farmlady09:

I haven't played around much with different types just because soda isn't something DH and I normally indulge in. We do both like root beer, but generally we're happy with it once in a great while because we don't like much in the way of sweet things. I cringe when I see how much sugar is estimated to be used by people. Even with baking cookies for Christmas I use less than a 10 pound bag all year of the white stuff. We do use brown sugar (raw sugar with unsulferd molasses added) for oatmeal and such, but even that adds up to less than 10 pounds a year.


I know that making things from scratch takes a little more time, but it's only a LITTLE time. Given how much info is available, I don't understand people who insist they can't manage more than just schlepping together fake food from a box with some water added. Ick. Just ick.


Quoting kcangel63: I make water kefir soda. The kids love it. It's higher in probiotics than yogurt too.


Quoting Farmlady09:

I make ginger ale and root beer/birch beer, but not with anything but yeast, raw sugar or honey, and natural flavoring. There is a mild alcohol content, but not enough that I'd worry about it ... and it sure doesn't have the manufactured crud in it. Mostly it's something we have in the spring or the fall as an occasional treat.


 

kcangel63
by Amanda on Jan. 24, 2014 at 10:57 PM
2 moms liked this
There are foods with coloring added. Something to keep mindful of indeed.

Quoting JanuaryBaby06:

We don't drink soda in this house but I like the heads up about the carmel! Now, I know to keep an eye out. Thanks!

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