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Carcinogen Found in Pepsi Caramel Coloring

First Posted: Jul 03, 2013 12:35 PM EDT

As sleek, sexy and patriotic as a can of Pepsi may appear, turns out, a cancer-causing-ingredient may be lurking inside the container.

According to the Center for Environmental Health, the caramel coloring used in Pepsi possibly contains a high level of a carcinogen despite the soda company's claims that this chemical was removed.

In fact, the group even said that Pepsi bought from over 10 different states contained 4-methylimidazole, or 4-Mel (the caramel-coloring ingredient). Though the company alleged that its caramel coloring suppliers are changing their manufacturing process to cut the amount of the chemical found in the product, they did not indicate a timeline.

According to Coca-Cola, the company is transitioning to use a modified caramel in the United States markets beyond California that does not contain Mel-4. This wouldn't have to have separate inventory of products for different locations. However, the company says that the chemical junk used to produce the caramel coloring in all of their products "is and always will be safe."

"The caramel color in all of our products has been, is and always will be safe," Coca-Cola Co. spokesperson Ben Sheidler said, according to CBS News.

While the Center for Environmental Health found via testing that Coke products no longer test positive for the chemical, Pepsi products sold outside of California still do.

Yet, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stands firm that this ingredient is safe. The FDA also said that a consumer would have to drink more than 1,000 cans of soda a day to reach harmful doses like those experimentally administered to rodents, showing links to cancer as a result.

We certainly don't like those odds. These days, you never know. Someone out there might actually love soda that much. 

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