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Coca-Cola Modifies Caramel Color To Avoid Cancer Warning Label

 
 
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:00 am
Coca-Cola Modifies Caramel Color To Avoid Cancer Warning Label
March 7, 2012
by Allison Aubrey - NPR Morning Edition

Coca-Cola says the caramel coloring in its signature soda has always been safe.

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 soda industry.

The caramel color 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.

And this wasn't the industry's only challenge. The Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban ammonia-sulfite caramel color. It's a request the CSPI repeated this week after finding 4-MI in samples of Coke and Pepsi.

"This is nothing more than CSPI scare tactics, and their claims are outrageous," writes the American Beverage Association in a statement released to the media.

"The science simply does not show that 4-MEI foods or beverages is a threat to human health," the statement continues.

And the FDA seems to agree.

FDA spokesman Douglas Karas wrote in a statement that the FDA is currently reviewing the CSPI petition, but "it is important to understand that a consumer would have to consume well over a thousand cans of soda a day to reach the doses administered in the studies that have shown links to cancer in rodents."

But in order to meet the requirements of California law — and avoid cancer warning labels on cans — soda manufacturers have come up with a solution: switch to a new, low 4-MI formulation of caramel coloring. Coca-Cola tells The Salt they've already begun the change.

"The company did make the decision to ask its caramel suppliers to make the necessary manufacturing process modifications to meet the requirement of the State of California," Diana Garza Ciarlante, a Coca-Cola spokeswoman, wrote in an email.

Garza Ciarlante says caramel coloring in all Coke products has always been safe.

"The fact is that the body of science about 4-MEI in foods or beverages does not support the erroneous allegations that CSPI would like the public to believe," she writes. Outside of California, no regulatory agency concerned with protecting the public's health has stated that 4-MI is a human carcinogen.

"Caramel color is now — and has always been — safe and harmless" says Ted Nixon, CEO of D.D. Williamson, the world's largest supplier of caramel color.

He explained that in order to modify the caramel color to reduce the levels of 4-MI, he sent his scientists back to the drawing board to change the manufacturing process.

"We did have to change these various inputs of temperature, pressure and the various ingredients we're using in order to change [4-MI concentrations]," Nixon says.

And Nixon says he'll be able to meet the demand of all of his soda clients, in rolling out this modified caramel color in products nationwide, and worldwide.

Coke says it will expand the use of the low-4-MI caramel color nationally, though Garza Ciarlante says it's important to note that the modifications will not change Coca-Cola products.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 1,727 • Replies: 19
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Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:11 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
I'd rather they modified the taste.

I am curious if this is also going to apply to Diet Coke, or does the cancer causing artificial sweetener there somehow neutralize the 4-MI?


0 Replies
 
Anomie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:47 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Organic agents may be carcinogenic, however this does not necessarily satisfy genotoxic conditions, I am not certain how this 4-methylimidazole has been processed/utilised.

However, this study does appear to disagree with my assertion:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1568421/

I am more intrigued by the implications of antigens in general, do they deviate metabolism to physiological decline.

I personally believe that disease (i.e. senescense) is a consequence of digestion, however the toxicity of matter increases the rate of the disease.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 11:48 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
I think they once tried to market a clear Coke. It was a bigger flop than "New Coke". Lets face it, we want caramel colored cola.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 11:53 am
A more trenchant argument against Coca-Cola would be the fact that High Fructose Corn Syrup is an absolute killer of people and should be banned from use here in America, the way it is in most other countries.

Not to mention the fact that it tastes disgusting compared to regular cane sugar.

Cycloptichorn
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 12:27 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
When I buy Coke, I only get Mexican Coke from the supermarket - when they have it. It is made with sugar, and the taste is distinctly better.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 06:40 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Would it not be wonderful if a company like coca-cola would stand up the CA nuts and said ok we will then sell no more coke in CA as long as that law is on the books.

When these idiots would need to explain to the voters/citizens why the hell they can no longer buy a drink that people had been drinking for a hundred years of so without any known cancer problems.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 06:41 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:

When I buy Coke, I only get Mexican Coke from the supermarket - when they have it. It is made with sugar, and the taste is distinctly better.


Yah - I love Mexican coke! Or Dublin Dr. Pepper, if you can get it.

Cycloptichorn
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 06:51 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
In addition to the sweeteners, it's all those acids in the ingredient list! Did you see the youtube where the shell of a hardboiled egg dissolved when the guy put it in a glass of Coke? He had it in there for a year, but still....

I'll have ice-tea with lemon Smile
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 06:52 pm
@Irishk,
Irishk wrote:

In addition to the sweeteners, it's all those acids in the ingredient list! Did you see the youtube where the shell of a hardboiled egg dissolved when the guy put it in a glass of Coke? He had it in there for a year, but still....

I'll have ice-tea with lemon Smile


Shell of a hardboiled egg? Try putting a PENNY in Coca-cola and see what happens!

Cycloptichorn
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 06:55 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I heard about that but I thought it was a myth lol.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 09:46 pm
I read somewhere, many years ago, that the coloring Coke uses was patented as an immune system suppressant. Don't have any literature to support this, but I will search it in a few minutes.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:01 pm
@edgarblythe,
There are many stories about Coca-Cola, mostly untrue. For example, the state police do not carry a trunk full of Coke to wash blood off the highways. Really, this was one of the stories.
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:24 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:
There are many stories about Coca-Cola...
Probably started by Pepsi (haha j/k).
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 10:31 pm
Snopes run down has lots of Coke myths. For instance, it is thought that Coke will dissolve a tooth overnight. False. Or, it once had cocaine in it. Only partly true.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 11:37 pm
@edgarblythe,
I admit I fell for the cocaine. I actually tested the statement that Coke with an asprin dissolved in it would get you high.

False.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Mar, 2012 01:50 am
@BillRM,
Quote:
Would it not be wonderful if a company like coca-cola would stand up the CA nuts and said ok we will then sell no more coke in CA as long as that law is on the books.


That would be nice, but the stockholders would never allow it. A more reasonable approach would be to take one of these kinds of cases to SCOTUS...as much as they dont want to at some point the Supremes are going to have to become willing to put limits on state rights to enforce unreasonable regulation of the marketplace.

BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Mar, 2012 02:56 am
@roger,
I
Quote:
admit I fell for the cocaine. I actually tested the statement that Coke with an asprin dissolved in it would get you high.

False.


Lord I am now 63 and that myth concerning the aspirin and coke was around when I was a kid!
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Mar, 2012 03:02 am
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
but the stockholders would never allow it


More to the point the independent CA local coke bottling companies would had a fit.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Mar, 2012 04:04 am
@BillRM,
Quote:
More to the point the independent CA local coke bottling companies would had a fit.


My information is that CocaCola recently took back almost all of the bottling plants in the US.
0 Replies
 
 

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