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Pepsi Products Still Contain Carcinogenic Caramel Coloring

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Food Safety Research Center page.

In 1986, California passed a ballot initiative called Proposition 65, which required consumer products with potential cancer-causing ingredients to bear warning labels.

Rather than label their products sold in California as likely carcinogenic, most companies reformulated their product ingredients so as to avoid warning labels altogether, and most did this on a national scale, not just in California, to avoid carrying a separate inventory of products.

After it was revealed that a common additive known as "caramel coloring" on labels, or 4-methylimidazole (4-MI) scientifically, used in many sodas may cause cancer, soda bigwigs Coke and Pepsi announced that they would reformulate their caramel coloring in order to avoid adding a cancer warning label to their products in California.

But did they really?

Pepsi Products Outside of California Still Contain Carcinogenic Caramel Coloring

It's been more than a year since Coke and Pepsi declared they would be reformulating their products to remove 4-MI in their caramel coloring.

This artificial brown color is made by reacting corn sugar with ammonia and sulfites under high pressures and at high temperatures. This produces the chemicals 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, which have been found to cause lung, liver and thyroid cancer in lab rats and mice.        


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