Horrifying: Toxic Chemical in Pepsi Known to Cause DNA Breaking, Fragmentation
High-fructose corn syrup isn’t the only ingredient found in sodas that consumers should be concerned about. Pepsi and other sodas contain a toxic byproduct known as 4-Methylimidazole, or 4-MEI for short, that may be increasing your cancer risks.
4-MEI is an impurity that is created during the manufacturing of caramel colors III and IV. The FDA maintains that they have “no reason to believe” that 4-MEI is carcinogenic. The agency is reportedly re-evaluating the public’s exposure to 4-MEI to ensure manufacturers are using it safely but is not currently recommending dietary changes.
Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., toxicologist and executive director of Consumer Reports’ Food Safety & Sustainability Center, believes that nearly any amount is too high, referencing the limit that California notes must be labeled (29 micrograms): “It’s possible to get more than 29 micrograms of 4-MEI in one can of some of the drinks we tested. And even if your choice of soft drink contains half that amount, many people have more than one can per day.”
In 2014, Consumer Reports led investigative research on the amount of 4-MEI found in a number of different sodas. Between April and September of 2013, they tested 81 samples of different soft drinks from five separate manufacturers. In December 2013, another 29 samples were collected from the same five manufacturers. All of the samples were purchased in the California or New York metropolitan areas.
What they found was a tremendous amount of disparity and inconsistency among the samples. Most notably, samples of regular Pepsi from the New York area gathered during the first round of testing was revealed to contain an astronomical average of 174 mcg of 4-MEI. During the second round, samples from the same area averaged 32 mcg. The researchers also found that in general, New York samples boasted much higher levels of 4-MEI than their Californian counterparts.
Following the Consumer Reports 2014 study, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center For A Livable Future conducted their own research, which was published in 2015. Their research estimated average exposure to 4-MEI and modeled the potential cancer burden owed to the ingredient. What they found was that between 44 and 58 percent of people over the age of 6 consumed at least one can of soda per day.
Their data showed that current average 4-MEI exposure from soft drinks poses a cancer risk that exceeds the accepted negligible risk of one extra case of cancer per one million people.
“This unnecessary exposure poses a threat to public health and raises questions about the continued use of caramel coloring in soda,” Nachman said.
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Horrifying: Toxic Chemical in Pepsi Known to Cause DNA Breaking, Fragmentation Reviewed by matt on 17:26:00 Rating: