Monday, March 9, 2015

Caramel Coloring in Soda Poses Serious Cancer Risks

In a recent study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future they have found compelling evidence that the caramel coloring found in many of our favorite carbonated beverages can raise the risk of cancer.  Not that I ever thought of soda pop as a health beverage, but growing up as a kid and even now, occasionally I will down one of those bubbly ice cold drinks.  I don't drink it on a regular basis and would certainly not consider it a mainstay in my diet, but after finding out this latest bit of information I may just pass it all up from now on.



Here is an excerpt from an article from ActiveBeat outlining the findings of what researchers are discovering:

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future believe many soda drinkers are being exposed to 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI), which is formed during the production of caramel coloring.
Keeve Nachman, the study’s senior author, says it’s time consumers became aware of the threat. “Soft drink consumers are being exposed to an avoidable and unnecessary cancer risk from an ingredient that is being added to these beverages simply for aesthetic purposes,” Nachman says. “This unnecessary exposure poses a threat to public health and raises questions about the continued use of caramel coloring in soda.”

As if we need any more cancer risks in our lives.  In an age and time where all forms of cancers and diseases seem to be on the rise why would we want to add another thing to what may be causing the problem?  If this food coloring is only present for aesthetic purposes, why not just remove it and be rid of the risk?  It's a great question and one that is being asked by Consumer Reports, who is leading the charge in pressuring the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to set limits on the use of the caramel coloring.  But is that enough?  Why not just ban it all together? Would it really be so bad if soda pop wasn't a brown caramel color?

Consumers of these beverages have come to expect that their Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Root Beer and any other cola type beverage to be a brownish caramel color.  If the color suddenly changes, would that change the customers perception of the product?  Possibly.  But I truly believe it is only fair that the public not only be made aware of the risks but also have a chance to decide for themselves if they wish to continue drinking the product.  The same thing could be said about a lot of the products that are on the supermarket shelves and even in the produce isles.  It is only after the public is made aware and educated on a subject that true change can occur.  It is when we vote with our dollars and how and what we spend our money on that companies and even government agencies have to eventually stop and take notice.  In the meantime, you and I as a consumer need to decide, Is it worth the risk?

Is it worth the risk?  Leave a comment and tell me what you think. 

    
 


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