Group Asks FDA For Stricter Rules on Soda Caramel Coloring

Posted on March 8, 2012

A group is charging soda makers with endangering the public’s health by including what they say is a cancer-causing chemical in their products.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban 4-methylimidazole from soda.  The group has claimed that studies have shown unsafe levels of the chemical, which is used to provide caramel coloring in soft drinks, in such popular brands as Coca Cola and Pepsi.

Their findings, though, are divisive.  The FDA has said that it would take more than a thousand cans of soda per day to reach the level of risk that the group is claiming.  And the American Beverage Association has stated that the company is simply trying to use scare tactics to push their agenda.

But the CSPI persists, saying that they found 140 micrograms of the chemicals in a 12 ounce soda serving, higher than the 29 microgram limit suggested by the state of California.  They say that translates to 5 out of 100,000 people that will contract cancer.

The FDA, for their part, places a cap on the caramel coloring at 250 parts per million.

As a personal injury lawyer in Long Beach, I find the battle over consumer safety to be of particular importance.  No matter which way this petition goes, I’ll be keeping close tabs on the results.  I feel that knowledge of FDA rulings is important to a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer.

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