Health Concerns

Pepsi’s Caramel Coloring Still Contains Carcinogens

No more 4-Mel?
No more 4-Mel? Photo: PepsiCo

Echoing the similar results of a study released last year by the Center for Environmental Health, Consumer Reports says that samples of Pepsi, Pepsi One, and Diet Pepsi taken in California and New York last year were found to have varying levels of 4-methylimidazole, or 4-Mel, which has been deemed “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” One sample of Pepsi One taken in New York had 195.3 micrograms of the chemical, a level that’s more than six times the limit set by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and the state’s Proposition 65 law, which requires warning labels for higher levels of 4-Mel.

Consumer Reports and PepsiCo disagree on the meaning of the study’s findings, however. “We believe their conclusion is factually incorrect and reflects a serious misunderstanding of Prop. 65’s requirements,” the soda giant said in a statement, adding that it’s still on track to reduce 4-Mel levels in its products by next month.

The Food and Drug Administration announced this morning that in response to the Consumer Reports study, it will once again look into the safety of caramel coloring in twelve soft drinks produced by five different companies.

Caramel color: The health risk that may be in your soda
[Consumer Reports via Consumerist]
FDA Says It Is Studying Caramel Coloring in Soda [AP/ABC]
Earlier: Pepsi Unhelpfully Still Filled With Pesky Carcinogen

Pepsi’s Caramel Coloring Still Contains Carcinogens