New study suggests chemical in soda may cause cancer

By Julianne Mosher,

Soda is now being linked to a dangerous chemical that can be harmful to your health, new reports claim.

According to CNN, Consumer Reports believes that sugar isn’t the only bad ingredient inside America’s favorite drink. Most soft drinks come with the chemical 4-methylimidazole, also known as 4-mel. This long titled toxin is also seen as the golden-brown color and is shown on U.S. product labels as “caramel coloring.”

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer is one advocate against the chemical and claims that it may cause cancer.

In the state of California, manufacturers must limit products to 29 micrograms of caramel coloring each day to the average consumer. Products which exceed the 29 micrograms must have a label that warns consumers that, “This product contains a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer.”

However, Consumer Reports gathered different brands of sodas in California and tested them in a lab. They reported that the 29 micrograms that are allowed were exceeded by brands like Pepsi One and Malta Goya, without a warning label.

Dr. Urvashi Rangan, a toxicologist for Consumer Reports recently said, “We are concerned about both the levels of 4-Mel we found in many of the soft drinks tested and the variations observed among brands, especially given the widespread consumption of these types of beverages.”

He also stated, “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.”

Although the study by Consumer Reports may seem shocking, the FDA currently does not believe that the toxin has any health risks to consumers, agency spokeswoman Juli Putnam said in a statement to CNN.

She also said the government agency is testing a multitude of foods and beverages containing 4-Mel and reviewing its safety to determine if action needs to be taken.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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