Caramel-Colored Soft Drinks Pose a Risk?

What's Hot


The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

How a Mexican Tariff Will Boost the Cost of 6 Common PurchasesFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

How to Protect Yourself From the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Phone ScamFamily

Report: Walmart to Begin Selling CarsCars

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

Is Your TV Tracking You? Here’s How to Tell — and Prevent ItAround The House

11 Staging Tips to Help You Get Top Dollar When Selling Your HomeAround The House

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

20 Simple Hacks to Make Your Stuff Last LongerAround The House

4 Car Insurers That Might Raise Rates Even When the Accident Wasn’t Your FaultCars

How to Invest If Trump Kills the ‘Fiduciary Rule’Grow

12 Surprising Ways to Wreck Your Credit ScoreBorrow

9 Secret Ways to Use Toothpaste That Will Make You SmileAround The House

The 2 Types of Music That Most Improve Dog BehaviorFamily

The caramel coloring in some sodas contains a potential carcinogen, Consumer Report says.

Quenching your thirst with certain caramel-colored drinks might expose you to a possible carcinogen, Consumer Reports says.

Consumer Reports study found that Pepsi One and Malta Goya (a nonalcoholic malt beverage) sold in California both contained notable levels of the carcinogenic chemical 4-methylimidazole (also known as 4-MeI), which is found in some caramel coloring.

California mandates that any food or beverage that exposes consumers to more than 29 micrograms per day carry health warning labels. Consumer Reports said:

… each of the 12-ounce samples of Pepsi One and Malta Goya had more than 29 micrograms per can or bottle. While we cannot say that this violates California’s Prop 65, we believe that these levels are too high, and we have asked the California attorney general to investigate.

Consumer Reports’ study said Pepsi One had 43.5 micrograms and Malta Goya had 352.5, compared with Coca-Cola, which had 4.3 micrograms, and Dr Pepper, with 10.1. But the numbers weren’t completely cut and dried, says Consumer Reports.

In our initial testing, some of the other brands we bought in California had average levels around or below 29 micrograms per can, but the New York area samples of those same brands tested much higher. In our second test, though, the levels in the New York samples had come down. For example, regular Pepsi from the New York area averaged 174 micrograms in the first test and 32 micrograms in the second.

“The fact that we found lower amounts of 4-MeI in our last round of tests suggests that some manufacturers may be taking steps to reduce levels, which would be a step in the right direction,” said Urvashi Rangan, a toxicologist and executive director of Consumer Reports’ Food Safety and Sustainability Center.

Pepsi contested the study’s findings. Reports the Los Angeles Times:

The soda giant said the levels of 4-MeI in its drinks did not amount to 29 micrograms per day because “the average amount of diet soda consumed by those who drink it is approximately 100 [milliliters] per day, or less than a third of a 12 [ounce] can.”

Consumer Reports disagreed with that consumption estimate.

The Times also reported this statement from Pepsi:

We are extremely concerned about Consumer Reports’ allegation that one of our products exceeds the Prop 65 standard and requires a warning label. We believe their conclusion is factually incorrect and reflects a serious misunderstanding of Prop 65’s requirements.

There is no federal limit for consumption of 4-MeI, the Times says.

Are you one of those folks who drink caramel-colored soda multiple times a day? Are you considering changing your soda habits? Comment below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: 21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right Now

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,820 more deals!