A chemical present in many sodas of golden-brown color may be dangerous to your health. “Caramel coloring” or 4-methylimidazole may cause cancer, says he World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer.
The state of California supports that opinion and limits manufacturers to 29 micrograms of exposure for the average consumer per day. The products that exceed that limit have to have a warning label that reads: “WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer.”
Unfortunatelly, a lot of companies do not strickly abide by this standard and add the warning, including Pepsi (“Pepsi One”) or Goya (“Malta”).
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) doesn’t set federal limits on 4-Mel in food, which means that in some cases consumers outside California end up drinking a drink with a higher concentration of the chemical. For instance, Pepsi One purchased by the Consumer Reports group in New York contained 4 times as much 4-Mel as the same drink bought in Califonia same month.
Consumers interested in more information on 4-Mel can check out the FDA’s FAQ page.