Coke and Pepsi change recipes to avoid printing cancer warning

Coca-Cola and Pepsi are changing the recipes for their drinks to avoid being legally obliged to put a cancer warning label on the bottle.

The new recipe for caramel colouring in the drinks has less 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI) – a chemical which California has added to its list of carcinogens. The change to the recipe has already been introduced in California but will be rolled out across the US.

Coca-Cola says there is no health risk to justify the change. Spokeswoman Diana Garza-Ciarlante told the Associated Press news agency they wanted to ensure their products “would not be subject to the requirement of a scientifically unfounded warning”…

The chemical has been linked to cancer in mice and rats, according to one study, but there is no evidence that it poses a health risk to humans, said the American Beverage Association, which represents the wider industry.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims a person would need to drink more than 1,000 cans of Coke or Pepsi a day to take in the same dose of the chemical that was given to the animals in the lab test…

It said that apart from California “not one single regulatory agency around the world considers the exposure of the public to 4-MEI as present in caramels as an issue”.

There’s no truth to the rumor that California is going to require signs posted on popular beaches that skimpy bathing suits cause pregnancy.

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