Four years ago, the Center for Environmental Health shared terrifying test results showing that Pepsi purposely covered up the presence of high levels of 4-Mel in its popular soft drinks. However, Pepsi immediately denied that. 4-Mel (4-Methylimidazole), is actually a compound that is formed in the processing caramel coloring. It is also known as a carcinogen.
For four years, Pepsi drinks producer has struggled against California state requirements. California law says that producers have to add a cancer caution label on the drinks that contain 4-Mel, including Pepsi One, Pepsi and Diet Pepsi.
That’s why Pepsi has agreed to prove that 4-Mel levels in their products offered in the U.S., don’t go beyond 100 parts per billion.
Pepsi didn’t warn its consumers that its popular soft drinks contain carcinogens.
Three years ago, Consumer Reports test revealed that the 4-Mel in Pepsi beaten the acceptable level of 29 micrograms per can or bottle. This means that they were in violation of the law.
More precise, this violates California’s Proposition 65, which has been in place for 32 years and requires producers to provide consumers with clear warnings when their products contain cancer-causing or toxic chemicals.
The state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment set the limit at 29 mcg because that level creates a risk of cancer of 1:100,000.
Consumer Reports (2013) revealed that 4-Mel is the most widely used food coloring in the world. So, Pepsi pointed that because Prop 65 refers to exposure per day rather than exposure per bottle or can. The average amount of diet soda that Pepsi consumers drink daily is less than a bottle or a can, so there was no need to warn them about this compound. However, Consumer Reports disagreed with this.
Dr. Urvashi Rangan, a toxicologist, says that it doesn’t matter how many sodas they consume, they don’t expect that their favorite drinks have a potential carcinogen.
Is drinking soda really worth risking cancer and obesity?
It doesn’t make any sense for consumers to expose themselves unnecessarily to a compound that simply gives the color to their food, and consumers have the right to be warned what they are consuming. The popularity of books like Food Forensics illustrates the growing desire by Americans to learn what ingredients their food products contain.
4-Mel that is coloring Pepsi is not the only reason why its consumers should steer clear of it. Soft drinks are the reason for the nation’s obesity epidemic. A UCLA study revealed that adults who drank one sugary drink (soda) every day had a 27% higher chance of being classified as overweight than people who did not consume such drinks. Additionally, consuming only one soda every day is equal to 39 pounds of sugar every year! To sum up, regular soda drinkers can lower their risk of cancer and obesity very easy. They should simply give up the habit for good.