Chemical Used In Coke, Pepsi Dangerous, Say Scientists

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An ingredient used in Coca-Cola and Pepsi is a cancer risk and should be banned, an influential lobby group has claimed, according to a report on the internet. American Cable News Network, CNN, has also featured the report.

The concerns relate to an artificial brown colouring agent that the researchers say could be causing thousands of cancers.

‘The caramel colouring used in Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and other foods is contaminated with two cancer-causing chemicals and should be banned,’ said the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a health lobby group based in Washington, DC.

‘In contrast to the caramel one might make at home by melting sugar in a saucepan, the artificial brown colouring in colas and some other products is made by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulphites under high pressure and temperatures.

‘Chemical reactions result in the formation of two substances known as 2-MI and 4-MI which in government-conducted studies caused lung, liver, or thyroid cancer or leukaemia in laboratory mice or rats.’

America’s National Toxicology Program says that there is ‘clear evidence’ that both 2-MI and 4-MI are animal carcinogens, and therefore likely to pose a risk to humans.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, found significant levels of 4-MI in five brands of cola.

The executive director of the CSPI, Michael F Jacobson, has petitioned America’s food regulator, the Food & Drug Administration, to take action.He said: ‘Carcinogenic colourings have no place in the food supply, especially considering that their only function is a cosmetic one.’

Mr Jacobson said the name ‘caramel colouring’ does not accurately describe the additives, explaining: ‘It’s a concentrated dark brown mixture of chemicals that simply does not occur in nature.’

He added that while regular caramel could not be described as healthy, ‘at least it is not tainted with carcinogens’.

U.S. regulations distinguish between four types of caramel colouring, two of which are produced with ammonia and two without it. The CSPI wants the two made with ammonia to be banned and has received backing from five prominent cancer experts, including several who have worked at the National Toxicology Program.

The type used in colas and other dark soft drinks is known as Caramel IV, or ammonia sulphite process caramel. Caramel III, which is produced with ammonia but not sulphites, is sometimes used in beer, soy sauce, and other foods.

The CSPI admitted that any risk associated with consumption of the chemicals would be extremely small. It said the ten teaspoons of sugar found in a can of regular cola would be more of a health problem.

However, it argued the levels of 4-MI in the tested colas still may be causing thousands of cancers in the U.S. population alone.

Earlier this week, it was claimed that Coca-Cola’s secret recipe had been leaked. It was even suggested it might be possible to recreate the taste and look on the kitchen table.

The leak claims were denied by the company.

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19 comments

  1. Julie

    Infact,i will even suggest Nigerian Bottling company be visited,recently i bought a bottle of FANTA and i found dirts clogged inside the bottle.It was really painful that i had already opened the bottle,i would have taken it to their company for them to see.This is also dangerous to human health. NAFDAC should please attend to this matter fast!

  2. abdulBeebee

    No wonder my doctor at the indraprasta hospital (india) asked me of my fav. drink and answered coke he then said am risking my life by taking much quantities of coke daily. My liver is almost down!

  3. whao!

    Thank God and thanks to those who discover these drinks. And ds goes to every consumer like me, pls for living sake stop drinking the above named killer beverages. I know some of us are totally ADDICTED to these drinks, bt yet we must live! D rit agencies to fight against this shuld do their duties.

  4. sir k.

    The news is true. I have been to the CSPI site and the story is true. but I want to ask, is it the same cola drinks (coke and pepsi) that we drink in Nigeria the same with the ones in America?

  5. CF Monye

    Well, Mr Odumodu, NAFDAC will not chase the big companies. They are too big a fish to catch because NAFDAC itself might have been bought over by each of them! In China or Singapore, public officials who blind their eyes to such public health risk in foods and beverages will certainly be killed by public execution. How I wish Nigeria could muster the guts to act likewise.
    Frank Monye, Owerre-Olubor

  6. lilian

    NAFDAC SHOULD PLEASE SWING INTO ACTION IMMEDIATELY.

  7. lilian

    NAFDAC SHOULD PLEASE SWING IN ACTION IMMEDIATELY.

  8. ugo

    ban them and cause more joblessness-what is best in this regard is to reduce the consuption by all asundry.

  9. Imix

    Ejohhh, something must kill a man.

  10. ebenezer

    I STOPPED DRINKING THESE KILLER DRINKS FOR ALMOST TEN YEARS! NIGERIANS, LETS BOYCOTT THEM FOR A CANCER FREE ENVIRONMENT.

  11. EMMA UNAH

    Pls NAFDAC should carry on thourough research before placing ban on these companies to avoid making more Nigerians jobless afterall they have been on existing for decades now. ONE LOVE NIGERIA

  12. Sunday IGWE

    Hi! Nigerians, Hi! Nigerians, Hi! Nigerians.
    It’s high time to get rid of much consumption of COKA-COLA products,VIJU,JUNC FOODS, and ALCOHOLIC DRINKS.

  13. STEPHEN ADEYANJU

    OUR GOVERNMENT SHOULD FIND SOLUTION TO THIS MATTER BCOSZ 90% OF NIGERIA DRINK KOKA KOLA PRODUCT

  14. Pope

    Wat do u xpct these are corporate giants

  15. Wetin may everybody stop drinking

    The best thing is to ban them because if they did not do so all dis are ready to kill someone because of money

  16. Odumodu

    NO WONDER THERE ARE INCREASED CASES OF CANCER RELATED ILLNESSES THESE DAYS! FOR GOD’S SAKE, WHERE IS NAFDAC? MORE SEARCHLIGHT SHOULD BE BEAMED ON THE SO CALLED BEER, MALT DRINKS, ALCOHOLIC AND NON-ALCOHOL BEVERAGES SUCH AS BOBO, VIJU, ETC BEFORE THEY FINISH US! GOVT SHOULD BAN ALL THESE KILLERS!

  17. truthful man

    people of nigeria,please stop enriching these companies at the expense of your lives.the coco cola and other companies know these truths but they are here to make money and do not mind the health of the black monkeys afterall the air,foods,roads,carbons from generators and kidnappings plus no truth in people who rule in nigeria are far more deadly than their products.And with good settlement,NAFDAC AND STANDARD ORG MAY NOT SANCTION THEM

  18. Kamor Lawal

    For God sake, everyone should stop drinking thses deadly chemicals.

  19. Daniel

    Why have we been consuming a ‘secret recipe’ over the years in the first place? And secretly contacting cancer! Ha! Ban coke as it is presently constituted, and let them come up with a public and safe recipe.

Comments are closed.