Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Cancer-causing chemical levels in Coke sold abroad remain excessive, U.S. group says

By J. D. Heyes

After narrowly escaping a federal claim of false advertising with a "pomegranate" drink that contained a barely legal amount of pomegranate juice, now Coca-Cola faces a new issue: cancer-causing ingredients in its namesake beverage.

According to a recent report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a U.S. watchdog organization, the version of Coke sold in several countries, including Kenya and Brazil, still contains an elevated level of a chemical that has been linked to cancer in animals - months after the beverage giant made changes to Coca-Cola sold in the state of California.

The group said samples of the soft drink were tested in nine countries, and each showed "alarming amounts" of the chemical 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MI, which is used in the soda's caramel coloring. The group said high levels of 4-MI have been linked to cancer in some animals.

In March Coca-Cola, along with beverage rival PepsiCo, said the companies had requested that suppliers of their caramel coloring change their manufacturing process to fall in line with a ballot initiative in California that sought to limit the public's exposure to toxic chemicals, Reuters reported. Read more...

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