by Mike Adams
the Health Ranger
February 17, 2011
The "caramel coloring" used to color all
the top cola brands isn't natural caramel coloring at all.
it's made by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites at high
temperatures. This reaction results in the formation of
4-methylimidazole, both of which are chemicals
documented by the U.S. government to cause cancer in mammals.
This is all coming to light thanks to an effort by
the CSPI, which
has now filed a regulatory petition to
ban these chemicals from
The National Toxicology Program has conducted animal studies on
these toxic chemicals found in colas, concluding there is "clear
evidence" that 2-MI and 4-MI are animal carcinogens.
The call to ban these chemicals from use in foods was joined by five
carcinogenesis experts who said,
"The American public should not be
exposed to any cancer risk whatsoever as a result of consuming such
chemicals, especially when they serve a non-essential, cosmetic
That letter explains:
4-methylimidazole (4-MI) causes lung tumors in male and female mice
and mononuclear cell leukemia in female rats. Other NTP studies
found that 2-methylimidazole caused liver tumors in male and female
mice, thyroid tumors in male mice, and precancerous thyroid changes
in female mice.
In rats, 4-MI caused an increased rate of tumors in
thyroid follicular cells in females and an increased rate of
hyperplasia in thyroid follicular cells in males.
Even the term "caramel coloring" is extremely misleading to
consumers, because most people think it's related to caramel candy,
which is made by browning sugar under heat.
But the "caramel
coloring" used in colas is made by exposing sugars to industrial
chemicals (ammonia and
sulfites), resulting in a cocktail of
Coke and Pepsi products may soon bear cancer warnings in California
California's Proposition 65 law limits the consumption of 4-MI to no
more than 16 micrograms per day from a single product. Yet colas
contain roughly 200 micrograms of 4-MI in a 20-ounce bottle.
That's over 12 times the allowable limit under
Proposition 65, and
that's in every bottle! Many people drink several bottles a day,
further multiplying their exposure to this potential carcinogen.
If cola companies are going to continue to sell their products in
California, then, they must now carry cancer warning labels in order
to be in compliance with Prop 65. You can bet that a desperate
effort is now under way by the cola industry to lobby California
regulators and make sure 4-MI gets removed from any enforcement of
The cola industry wants everybody to think its products are
wholesome and natural while forgetting about the health effects of
aspartame and high-fructose corn syrup.
2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole in the picture, there's yet
another potentially cancer-causing chemical to worry about in colas.
Obviously, 2-MI and 4-MI can be avoided by drinking non-colored soft
drinks, but those still contain phosphoric acid, high-fructose corn
syrup, caffeine and even aspartame in diet sodas.
It turns out, there's no such thing as a perfectly safe soda.
sodas and soft drinks carry health risks related to their
I have no doubt that this era of diabetes, obesity and
cancer we're living through right now is due in large part to the
widespread consumption of sodas and soft drinks.