Is Cola's Coloring Giving Us Cancer?

Health lobby wants caramel coloring banned
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2011 11:01 AM CST
Is Cola's Coloring Giving Us Cancer?
The coloring in cola could be giving us cancer.   (©28 misguided souls)

You already know soda can make you fat—but it could also give you cancer. A DC health lobby group claims the caramel coloring used by Coca-Cola and Pepsi includes two cancer-causing chemicals and should be banned, the Daily Mail reports. While the caramel one might make at home (using sugar and water) isn't exactly healthy, researchers say artificial caramel coloring is even worse—it's made my mixing sugar with ammonia and sulfites.

The reaction forms two substances (2-MI and 4-MI) that have been shown in studies to cause lung, liver, or thyroid cancer or leukemia in lab mice or rats, and researchers found significant levels of one of those substances in five cola brands. Of the four types of caramel coloring produced, two incorporate ammonia—Caramel IV is used soft drinks, Caramel III in beer and soy sauce, among other things—and the group wants the FDA to ban those two types. Amusingly, the group does admit that the sugar found in regular soda is more of a health risk than these chemicals. (Click for more on the hidden dangers of diet soda.)

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