Would You Like Cancer With Your Coke?

When the state of California added the compound 4-methylimidazole, also known as 4-MI or 4-MEI, to its list of known carcinogens in 2011, it created a problem for the soft drink industry.

The caramel colour they used to give colas that distinctive, brown hue contained levels of 4-MI that would have warranted a cancer warning label on every can sold in the state.

It’s a request the CSPI repeated this week after finding 4-MI in samples of Coke and Pepsi.

But in order to meet the requirements of California law — and avoid cancer warning labels on cans — soft drink manufacturers have come up with a solution: switch to a new, low 4-MI formulation of caramel colouring. 

What is 4-MEI?

The “caramel coloring” used to color all the top cola brands isn't natural caramel coloring at all.

Instead, it's made by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites at high temperatures.

  • Formed in the heating and browning process
  • Occurs in caramel colouring as well as some roasted and cooked foods
  • Can be in some cleaning, photographic and agricultural chemicals, dyes and pharmaceuticals
  • Exposure can be through consumption or during manufacturing process


Emeds Comment

It turns out, there's no such thing as a perfectly safe soda. All sodas and soft drinks carry health risks related to their ingredients.

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.

Australians drink more soft drink than ever before. It has been estimated that the average Australian drinks an estimated 76 litres of soft drink each year.

Not only is the massive amounts of plastic contributing to land fill – these drinks are polluting our bodies too.

Kids are heavy consumers of soft drinks too. Soft drinks account for much of their daily sugar intake. Pity that fruit and vegetables don't feature as highly on their list.

Not only are soft drinks widely available everywhere from fast food places to video stores, they're now sold in many public and private schools – talk about easy access for our kids.

One can of soft drink has about 10 teaspoons of sugar, 150 calories, 30 to 55 mg of caffeine, and is loaded with artificial food colouring.

Studies have linked soft drink to osteoporosis, obesity, tooth decay and heart disease.

Drinking all that sugar will likely suppress your appetite for healthy foods too, which paves the way for nutrient deficiencies.

Eliminating soft drinks from your diet is one of the best things you could do for your health.

It's simple, cut the habit now and save yourself from potentially fatal disease and illness.


Further Reading: