The internet is an amazing place.  Here is a link to an American story I found on an Asian site called IndiaReport.com:
Caramel colourings in soft drinks may cause cancer
Washington – February 17th, 2011

Some artificial food colourings used in widely consumed soft drinks like Coca-Cola and Pepsi may cause cancer and they should be banned, a US consumer advocacy group has claimed, drawing a strong reaction from the industry.

Pure caramel is made from melted sugar. But two other versions approved to colour food products include the chemical ammonia and produce compounds shown to cause various cancers in studies of animals, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) said in a statement.

“The’caramel colouring’used in Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and other foods is contaminated with two cancer-causing chemicals and should be banned,”the group said.

In a petition to the Food and Drug Administration of the US, the group has urged to ban the ammonia-containing caramels, which are also used in other dark-coloured soft drinks.

“We’re asking the FDA to ban the use of caramel colouring that’s used in colas and certain other soft drinks and a variety of other foods,”said Michael Jacobson, Executive Director of CSPI, was quoted as saying by ABC News.

“The reason is that several years ago a government agency, the National Toxicology program tested a contaminant in the colouring and found that it caused cancer in mice and possibly rats.”

According to the programme, there is”clear evidence”that both 2-MI and 4-MI are animal carcinogens, and therefore likely to pose a risk to humans.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have also found significant levels of 4-MI in five brands of cola.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola Company, the world’s top soft drink maker, vehemently rejected the claims, saying the caramel it uses does not cause cancer.

“CSPI’s statement irresponsibly insinuates that the caramel used in our beverages is unsafe and maliciously raises cancer concerns among consumers,”the company said in a statement.

“This does a disservice to the very public for which CSPI purports to serve. In fact studies show that the caramel we use does not cause cancer.

Can you tell this story has an international “flavor?”  How about the way the report spells “colouring.” 

But this is becoming big news here in the USA.  I will follow-up on it as more info becomes available. 

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

Leave a Reply