Cancer link to caramel coloring in pop - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cancer link to caramel coloring in pop

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A chemical found in a lot of soda pop is the new target of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.  The group says the chemical can cause cancer, and even death.

For many of us, a daily drink of cola is pretty common, but the CSPI has some serious concerns over dark-colored sodas and is now is asking the FDA to ban certain "caramel coloring."

The government conducted studies several years ago showing contaminants in the caramel coloring that caused cancer in laboratory animals.

"Caramel coloring" found in some sodas is made by reacting sugars with ammonia - resulting in what some studies found were carcinogenic chemicals.

That type of caramel coloring can also be found in things like some soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, whiskey or even dark beers.

The CSPI says it's all unnecessary claiming that caramel coloring doesn't add nutritional value,  it's not a preservative, it's only there for the color.

As part of a broader law, California is considering warning labels on soda cans.

The Beverage Association of America said the CSPI is using scare tactics- insisting there is no evidence of carcinogens in soft drinks.

And some doctors say there's really not much danger.

"You'd have to drink about 10,000 bottles of coke a day for a lifetime in order to get that amount to see any effect," said one doctor.

But for the CSPI- any risk, is too much.

Tara Thomas:  Online reporter/News Anchor

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