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Cancer Causing Cola

According to the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, the artificial caramel coloring used in many cola drinks may cause cancer. Apparently, the caramel coloring is also used in some foods.  The group is now urging the Food & Drug Administration to ban this coloring.

Michael F. Jacobson, executive director for the group, explains that the artificial coloring is made by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperatures.  This coloring is not the same as the caramel we can make in our homes simply by melting sugar, butter and cream in a saucepan.

Courtesy of Spencer Platt, Getty Images.

Federal regulations identify four types of caramel coloring.  Of those four, two are  produced with ammonia and two without.  Jacobson stated, “carcinogenic colorings have no place in the food supply, especially considering that their only function is a cosmetic one.”  And I think I agree.  If it’s a drink meant for human consumption, why is there ammonia in that beverage?  The worse part is, the FDA approved the caramel colorings with ammonia.  Seems like it could be very harmful and though it hasn’t been approved, why wouldn’t these chemcials have some sort of adverse effect such as causing cancer?

Jacobson and his group said their studies show the food colorings produce compounds that cause cancer in lab animals that were given the products containing these chemicals.

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