Coke and Pepsi Make Caramel Coloring Changes to Avert Cancer Warning Label

cola drinkThanks to a recently-passed California law, both PepsiCo Inc. and Coca-Cola Co. are making changes to the caramel coloring that are in their sodas.

The California law demands that drinks that have a specific carcinogenic level will need to have a cancer warning label. Both companies have said the changes will have national impact, as they’ll be streamlining their manufacturing development.

Beverage Digest, an industry tracker, says that approximately 90 percent of the soda market is held by both PepsiCo and Coca-Cola.  A Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. representative said all the caramel coloring will meet California’s new law.

The American Beverage Association said associate companies will proceed with using caramel coloring in some of its products. However, adjustments have already been made to ensure California’s new standard is going to be met.

In a statement, the association said, consumers will not see or taste a difference in the affected products and don’t need to worry with health problems.

Diana Garza-Ciarlante, a representative with Coca-Cola, said the business asked suppliers to alter their processes to lessen the amount of the chemical 4-methylimidazole levels. This forms during the cooking process and can be found in minute amounts in all kinds of foods.

Garza-Ciarlante said the company believes there is no significant health risk that validates a change. However, the company requested caramel suppliers to make the step to ensure its products were subject to a scientifically groundless warning.

Consumer-advocacy group The Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a request with the Food and Drug Administration to prohibit using ammonia-sulfite caramel coloring in food and drinks.

A Food and Drug Administration spokesman said the group’s petition is under review. He noted consumers would have to drink over 1,000 cans of soda every day to have the carcinogenic levels that rodents were injected with and have been linked to cancer.

The American Beverage Association noted California added caramel coloring to its carcinogens list with no evidence that shows it causes cancer in human beings. The association said the listed was based on one study in lab rats and mice.

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Posted by on Mar 11 2012. Filed under Business, Featured, Health, New. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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