The Center of Environmental Health released results from their study which revealed that Pepsi on purpose hid the existence of high levels of 4-Mel in drinks from 2013. The company has completely overthrown these allegations stating that their drinks do not contain this compound. In fact, this compound is known as 4-Methylimidazole which is formed during the process of caramel coloring production, and it is considered to be cancerous.
California State required from companies to put a cancer caution label due to the presence of this compound, but the company that produces this drink has fought back and did not comply with the requirements.
There is a settlement in a class action lawsuit which is against Pepsi, and got preliminary approval from the federal judge in California. Pepsi has agreed to ensure that their caramel coloring 4-Mel will not be above 100 parts in a billion products, and this was the main reason why settlement was reached. The settlement also set new protocols for testing the soda.
This company also agreed all these measures to be implemented on federal level.
What is stunning about this is the fact that Pepsi did not warn its consumers about the presence of carcinogens.
The claim actually accused this company for not warning their consumers of the 4-Mel content in the drinks, which the State of California found to be chemical that causes development of cancer.
Another test made in 2014 by the Customer Reports found that Pepsi bottle contains 4-mel more than the allowed 29 micrograms per bottle. This clearly suggests that this company violated the common law and customer protection statutes in State of California. In fact, this violation is against the California’s Proposal 65, which was adopted back in 1985. This proposal is actually requiring companies and manufacturers to clearly label their products if they expose the consumers to any poisonous or cancerous chemicals.
The State Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment set new standards when it comes to 4-Mel presence in drinks, and this level is 29 micrograms. This level is safe for consumption because it gives a cancer risk 1:100,000.
Another research made by Mintel and Leatherhead Food in 2013 found that caramel coloring is the most common process for food coloring. In regards to this, Pepsi argued that Prop 65 actually refers to exposure per day and not per can. Also they argued that their consumers who drink diet soda on daily basis actually consume less than one can per day, which is the main reason why there is no need for warning label. The Consumer Reports have disagreed with this statement.
On the other hand Dr. UrvashiRangan, toxicologist, argued that “No matter how much consumers drink they don’t expect their drinks to have a potential carcinogen in them. And we do not believe 4-MeI should be in foods at all. Our tests of Coke samples show that it is possible to get to much lower levels.”
Now we all raise the question whether it is worth taking the risk of drinking soda which can cause obesity and cancer?
In our opinion it is nonsense to consume something that causes harm to your overall health, especially due to the fact that manufacturers use this chemical only to color their food. The book Food Forensics proves that more Americans are willing to know what ingredients are used for production of their food, which is completely legitimate request.
Also Pepsi does not contain only cancer-causing caramel coloring, but also it is believed that sodas are the main cause for causing obesity in the US. UCLA made a study which revealed that people that consume at least one sugary beverage (soda) on daily basis, actually have 27% greater possibility of becoming obese. If you consume one soda per day you should know that it equals to 39 pounds of sugar per year. Those people that consume soda could easily cut the risks of obesity and development of cancer by simply quitting the consumption of this beverage.