In March this year, it was reported that Coca Cola and PepsiCo are making changes to the production of “a certain ingredient” in their cola to avoid putting a cancer warning on their drinks.
This was to get around California’s new regulations to reduce the amount of a chemical called 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MI. This chemical was added to the list of chemicals covered by California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, also known as Proposition 65 in January.
High levels of that chemical have been linked to cancer in animals.
In news reports, both Coke and Pepsi have said that consumers will not notice any change in taste of the drinks.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) in the US found unsafe levels of the chemical in cans of Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, Dr Pepper and Whole Foods Markets Inc’s 365 Cola.
Now all this does come as a slap on to the FDA’s face, which still claims the drinks are safe. Reports cite FDA officials saying that consumers have to drink “well over a thousand cans of soda a day to reach the doses administered in the studies that have shown links to cancer in rodents”.