Soda – Death in a Can?

Crosby Chiropractic St. Peters

Soda – Death in a Can?

Soft drinks and soda especially have no nutritional content and, overtime will actually
contribute to illnesses such as diabetes, osteopenia, osteoporosis, reflux, stomach
ulcers, duodenal ulcers, pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and pseudo-multiple sclerosis.
In addition, the consumption of one 8 oz can of soda a day adds 5 lbs of weight a year
to the average American, contributing to their obesity and to the cardiovascular issues
that obesity causes. (Obesity also contributes to osteoarthritis of knees and hips so
soda consumption may indirectly impact joint health too!)
Ultimately most of us are aware that soda is not good for us and yet the average
American consumes not one 8 oz soda a day but two sodas! It's time to us realize that
soda is not only bad for us, but that it is equally as detrimental to our health as smoking
cigarettes, and that soda consumption may acutally cause MORE health issues than
cigarettes do.
Now, Consumer Reports has released some shocking information about dark sodas in
particular. On January 24th, 2014, Consumer Reports released a report on the caramel
color used in dark sodas, 4-methylimidazole (4-MeI) . This ammonia based caramel
color, which is not derived from caramel at all, is a known carcinogen, and is permitted
to be used in foods and beverages by the FDA to give them a brown color.
Under California law, any beverage or food with more than 29 micrograms of 4-Mel in it,
should carry a health warning label (as cigarettes must do). In a recent Consumer
Report test, 12 oz of Pepsi One (193.5 micrograms) and Malta Goya (352.5
micrograms) vastly exceeded these levels and had no health warning label. The
California Attorney General has been asked to investigate.
The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment used 29 micrograms
as the cut off point because they believe that to be the level that would cause one in
100,000 people to develop cancer (consuming 29 microrams of 4-Mel a day.) If one
Pepsi One has more than this level and you are consuming other foods colored with this
product (it is the most commonly used food coloring used today) then what is the real
risk for developing cancer in your lifetime?
Knowing that most people drink two soft drinks a day, in addition to consuming foods
with 4-Mel, Consumer Reports is asking why is the coloring even necessary for human
consumption? Their experts go so far as to suggest that 3 micrograms or less per can
should be the maximum allowed if this coloring is going to continue to be allowed by the
In addition, there is no hard and fast quality control for the amount of 4-Mel used in
soda. While Consumer Reports' initial testing showed Pepsi One and Malta Goya had
levels of 4-Mel that were higher than 29 micrograms, the New York area samples of the
same brands tested much higher. In a second test however, the levels in the New York

samples had come down although regular Pepsi from the New York area averaged 174
micrograms in the first test and 32 micrograms in the second which would both exceed
the California guidelines for safe consumption.
After Consumer Reports informed PepsiCo of our test results, the company issued a
statement that said that Proposition 65 is based on per day exposure and not exposure
per can. It cited a government consumption data that stated the average amount of diet
soda consumed by people is less than a third of a 12-ounce can. For that reason, they
believe that Pepsi One does not require cancer-risk warning labels—even if the amount
of 4-MeI in a single can exceeds 29 micrograms. Consumer Reports says there is
analysis of government data that shows higher levels of daily consumption of soft drinks
generally (two per day.)
Based on their results, Consumer Reports is alerting the California Attorney General’s
office of their test findings regarding Pepsi One and Malta Goya while petitioning the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to set a federal standard for 4-MeI and to require
manufacturers to list the type of caramel color they use on their products’ ingredient
lists. That’s important because there are four types of caramel coloring. Only the two
made with ammonia compounds can contain 4-MeI. However, manufacturers can use
the general term “artificial color” interchangeably with “caramel color.”
The FDA said it does not believe that 4-MeI from caramel color at levels currently in
food pose a risk although they are currently doing their own tests of foods, including
sodas, for 4-MeI. They are also reviewing new safety data on 4-MeI to determine what,
if any, regulatory action needs to be taken.
Thirsty? Water is great!
Want flavor? Think twice about soda. Coffee, tea and juice are all healthier and,
apparently with some soft drinks, safer alternatives.

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