Coke, Pepsi Make Changes to Avoid Cancer Warning


sodaCoca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. are changing the way they make the caramel coloring used in their sodas as a result of a California law that mandates drinks containing a certain level of carcinogens come with a cancer warning label.

The companies said the changes will be expanded nationally to streamline their manufacturing processes. They’ve already been made for drinks sold in California.

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo account for almost 90 percent of the soda market, according to industry tracker Beverage Digest. A representative for Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. said all its caramel coloring now meet the new California standard.

The American Beverage Association, which represents the broader industry, said its member companies will continue to use caramel coloring in certain products but that adjustments were made to meet California’s new standard.

“Consumers will notice no difference in our products and have no reason at all for any health concerns,” the association said in a statement.

A representative for Coca-Cola, Diana Garza-Ciarlante, said the company directed its caramel suppliers to modify their manufacturing processes to reduce the levels of the chemical 4-methylimidazole, which can be formed during the cooking process and, as a result, may be found in trace amounts in many foods.

“While we believe that there is no public health risk that justifies any such change, we did ask our caramel suppliers to take this step so that our products would not be subject to the requirement of a scientifically unfounded warning,” Garza-Ciarlante said in an email.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group, in February filed a petition with the Food and Drug Administration to ban the use of ammonia-sulfite caramel coloring.

A spokesman for the Food and Drug Administration said the petition is being reviewed. But he noted that a consumer would have to drink more than 1,000 cans of soda a day to reach the doses administered that have shown links to cancer in rodents.

The American Beverage Association also noted that California added the coloring to its list of carcinogens with no studies showing that it causes cancer in humans. It noted that the listing was based on a single study in lab mice and rats.

{Noam Newscenter, The Associated Press}


  1. comment is in regard to shiva video. I enjoy humor but NOT when it makes fun of everything Yiddish and sacred to Yidden! Please remove.

  2. This story is utterly ridiculous! It is well known that Coke Cola and Pepsi are of a class of edibles called “junk food.” By the phrase “junk food,” we mean a product that was formed out of what was obviously food. However, this piece of food has been extremely over processed and filled with numerous added substances that are all kinds of outright poisons. So now, this newly reformed piece of “food” has very, very little nourishing value left in it, and, on the contrary, it is actually HARMFUL to people.

    Yes, it is well known that both Coke Cola and Pepsi are not just “junk food,” they are at the epitome of the epitome of what is the most terrible “junk food.”

    Yet here, Coke and Pepsi are showing themselves as being all concerned about and fully adhering to the requirements of people’s health!

  3. (continuation of my previous comment)

    Several times, I have posted here on Matzav two sharp examples of how terrible Coke Cola is.

    1.) Understandably, my childhood school years had countless memoriable incidents. One of them happened soon after I had started a class of the fifth grade in the elementary school I was attending. One afternoon, the discussion of the class somehow touched on the subject of Coke Cola. I well remember the scene: was sitting in my seat, which was on the left side of the classroom near the wall that was formed mostly of a row of modern windows; the teacher was standing near the right side of the classroom, near the solid wall that separated the room from the hallway. I well remember how the teacher bluntly related:

    “There are only TWO people in the entire world who know what is in Coke Cola,


  4. (continuation of my previous comment)

    2.) To understand the next example, B’Ezras HaShem, we need to be aware of the following point.

    In the Halachos of Kashrus – the Torah laws of our food – for there to be an issue of whether a particular item is permitted or not permitted for us to eat, that item has to be a piece of FOOD. How can we determine if something is or is not a piece of food? The minimal standard is that the item has to be edible at least for a dog. If the item is something that a dog could eat it, then it is termed a “food,” and then we need to examine whether or not its ingredients are permitted for us to eat. If though, it is so terrible that even a dog could not eat it, then it cannot be called a “food,” and no matter what non-Kosher ingredients it has, there is no prohibition on eating it.

    So again, for an item to be called a “food,” it must be fit for a dog to be able to eat it. In Lashon HaKodesh this is expressed: “Roi L’Achilas Kelev” – “Fit for the eating of a dog.”

    One of the major Torah communal leaders of the mid-1900’s was Rav Eliezer Silver, ZT’L. One time, he was designated to investigate if Coke Cola could be given a Hechsher – a certification of being Kosher. So he approached the directors of the Coke corporation with the proposed project. He explained to them that what he wanted certainly had nothing to do with, Chas V’Shalom – G-D Forbid – trying to steal a company’s business secrets; rather, issue was that for him to be able to determine if their soft drink was Kosher, he would have to know what are ALL of its ingredients — including all of its “secret” ingredients. So they told him. At that, in his humorous funny style, he exclaimed:


  5. (Important note on my previous comment)

    One of the points discussed in some of the above listed articles is the very well known harmful effects of refined sugar. It is important to note that as bad as refined sugar is, the the diet sodas with their artificial sweeteners are INFINITELY much, much worse extremely severe outright poisons!

    There are tremendous amounts of extensive medical and scientific material on the subject.

    B’Ezras Hashem, as just a beginning, I will quote two very brief pieces and then list four more web pages with more information.

    “Aspartame is extremely dangerous. It is the slow accumulation of these chemical toxins in the body that has serious and detrimental effects on your health. Aspartame was first approved for widespread use in the U.S. in July of 1983. Within six months, brain tumor rates were reported to have climbed 10%; diabetes reportedly increased by 30% and brain lymphoma tumors increased by a whopping 60%. Learn how the FDA scandalously approved this toxic chemical, which is now one of the most widespread food additives in the U.S. We highly recommend you watch the documentary, Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World.avi. This film clearly shows how dangerous the artificial sweetener Aspartame really is.” (At

    “Dear Consumer, This is Dr. Janet Starr Hull and I have information that exposes the potential health dangers of Splenda® . . . Within my book, I reveal the scientific evidence strongly suggesting the chemical sweetener sucralose (Splenda) may harm your body . . . I disclose the research documenting the negative effects on the liver, spleen and kidneys of laboratory animals. In addition, I reveal research results of infertility in male rats and gastrointestinal problems in pregnant rats fed Splenda . . . Consumers are not being told the entire truth about the long-term dangers of using artificial chemical sweeteners.” (At


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