Pepsi Carcinogen Still Found In Soda, Watchdog Group Says

By iScienceTimes Staff on July 4, 2013 10:46 AM EDT

pepsi
4-MeI, a carcinogen, can be found in Pepsi's caramel coloring. The company says it is phrasing out the chemical. (Photo: Reuters)

Pepsi's caramel coloring contains a carcinogen, claims The Center for Environmental Health.   

The Center for Environmental Health claims that the carcinogen is present in Pepsi, despite company claims that the carcinogen has been removed from the soft drink.

The carcinogen chemical is called 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MeI (not 4-Mel, with an "L," as some outlets are reporting). 4-MeI can form during the cooking process. Trace amounts can sometimes make their way into foods.

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In March, both PepsiCo Inc. and Coca-Cola Co. said they would remove 4-MeI from their formulas after California passed a new labeling law, Proposition 65, stating that drinks of certain carcinogen levels carry a cancer warning label.  

But The Center for Environmental Health recently found that Pepsi purchased in 10 different states still contains the carcinogen 4-MeI. Those bottles of Pepsi were purchased outside of California, where Pepsi says they have cut out the 4-MeI carcinogen from their caramel. Pepsi says they will remove 4-MeI from all Pepsi sold in the U.S. by February 2014, and eventually worldwide, though they didn't say when.  

Coca-Cola has removed the carcinogen 4-MeI from products sold in the U.S.

"This shows how California's Proposition 65 law can make products safer for all Californians, and in some cases for all Americans," said Michael Green, Executive Director of The Center for Environmental Health. "We applaud Coke for taking this health protective action for consumers nationwide. Pepsi's delay is inexplicable. We urge the company to take swift action to provide all Americans with the same safer product they're selling in California."

While 4-MeI has been found to cause cancer in rodents, the carcinogen hasn't been shown to cause cancer in humans. The Food and Drug Administration says the amount of 4-MeI one would have to consume to get cancer is nearly impossible.

© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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