Environmental group: Cancer-causing agent found in Pepsi products
Posted by Neill Abayon
Watchdog group The Center for Environmental Health has found that the caramel coloring used in Pepsi contains a high level of a probable carcinogen, despite the company's claims that it has removed the chemical.
The Center for Environmental Health said that Pepsi bought from 10 different states contained 4-methylimidazole, or 4-Mel. The compound can form during the cooking process and, as a result, may be found in trace amounts in many foods.
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In March, PepsiCo Inc. and Coca-Cola Co. both said they would adjust their formulas nationally after California passed a law mandating drinks containing a certain level of carcinogens come with a cancer warning label. Coca-Cola Co. told CBSNews.com at the time that the changes were made for drinks sold in California so they would adhere to the law, but the formula of the beverage would not be affected. The changes were made nationally so the company wouldn't have to have separate inventory of products for different locations, but not worldwide.
"The caramel color in all of our products has been, is and always will be safe," Coca-Cola Co. spokesperson Ben Sheidler said.
The Center for Environmental Health found via testing that while Coke products no longer test positive for the chemical, Pepsi products sold outside of California still do.