Ban called for allegedly carcinogenic caramel component in sodas

December 20, 2015

Jeff Stier, a senior fellow at the Washington-D.C. based National Center for Public Policy Research, said, ???You cannot make firm conclusions about human health based on animal studies.??? ???Limiting sugary soda is a good idea,??? he said. ???Diet sodas are a great substitute for people watching their weight.??? The American Beverage Association called CSPI??s claim a ???scare tactic??? and said there was no evidence that the compounds found in caramel coloring cause cancer in humans. They said, ???4-MEI is not a threat to human health. There is no evidence that 4-MEI causes cancer in humans. No health regulatory agency around the globe, including the Food and Drug Administration, has said that 4-MEI is a human carcinogen?? This petition is nothing more than another attempt to scare consumers by an advocacy group long-dedicated to attacking the food and beverage industry.??? ???Consumers can take confidence in the fact that people have been safely drinking colas for more than a century, as well as consuming the wide variety of foods and beverages containing 4-MEI, from baked goods and breads to wine and coffee,??? they added.

Dr. Fred Guengerich, professor of biochemistry at Vanderbilt University, said, ???Is it a carcinogen? The tests have shown in mice it can increase the risk of cancer. On the other hand, there is also evidence in male rats, it prevented several kinds of cancer??Basically my advice would be just to relax ... I did some simple math. ... If you look at the study in terms of what the mice got, in terms of causing any effect, a human being would have to drink more than 1,000 sodas a day.???

For now, the FDA said that along with the World Health Organization, it has been studying these chemicals and their potential effects on humans. The FDA says it will respond to CSPI??s petition in accordance with required timelines.