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Lepke
04-10-2006, 09:31 AM
Benzene fuels claim against Coca Cola Israel


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/701906.html

[ 04-20-2006, 09:30 AM: Message edited by: Lepke ]

AzRocks
04-10-2006, 10:31 AM
NOOOOO! I drank so much shokata!

Just reread it and realized that its not dangerous to your health

[ 04-10-2006, 09:34 AM: Message edited by: AzRocks ]

RunWithDaLilGuy
04-14-2006, 04:06 PM
obviously it was arab terrorists. lepke, if i were you i would call bruce willis. he will kill them all.

Lepke
04-14-2006, 04:10 PM
I think the coke is bottled in Ramallah in the Palestinian authority.
I’ll get on the phone with Benjamin Netanyahu. He’ll take em out.

the saint
04-14-2006, 04:29 PM
This will be the same story within the US borders by the end of the summer I am sure. Just about all flavored soda has in one way shape or form vitamin c and sodium benzoate in them. It is all about some greedy lawyers who seen another case where they can earn alot of coin.

Lepke
04-14-2006, 04:36 PM
The European story broke about 2 weeks ago. Now it’s spreading.
My understanding is that it’s perfectly safe to drink. The benzene levels are so miniscule.

Hacksaw
04-16-2006, 06:17 PM
You probably get more benzene when you fuel up your car than from sodas.

Lepke
04-16-2006, 06:20 PM
THIS STORY is related to a worldwide issue not just Israel.
PLEASE don’t close it.

Lepke
04-16-2006, 08:52 PM
FDA issues first statement on benzene in soft drinks

By Chris Mercer


14/04/2006 - America’s Food and Drug Administration has questioned the accuracy of its own testing for benzene in soft drinks between 1995 and 2001, but held off criticism from Congress members for refusing to publish results from its current investigation.

Results from the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Total Diet Study between 1995 and 2001 show a powdered fruit drink and a non-diet cola drink containing benzene almost 10 and 14 times above the World Health Organisation's 10 parts per billion limit for benzene in tap water.
The results, which also showed average benzene levels above the FDA's five parts per billion limit in some drinks varieties, were uncovered by a US campaigns body, the Environmental Working Group.

The FDA, however, has now said the data was “inconsistent” with other tests for benzene in soft drinks, and that an investigation suggested “elevated benzene levels can be formed by the procedures used to analyse beverage samples”.

Benzene is a known carcinogen, and renewed concerns about its presence in soft drinks have grown since an FDA scientist revealed to BeverageDaily.com in February that recent tests had again found some soft drinks with benzene above the US water limit.

An FDA spokesperson has again confirmed this to BeverageDaily.com, adding that the agency was engaging with the relevant soft drinks firms to minimise or eliminate benzene formation in drinks.

The suspected source of the benzene is two common ingredients in the drink – sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

Both the FDA and US soft drinks industry have known this for 15 years, but hatched a deal for the industry to spread the word and reformulate privately, a BeverageDaily.com investigation learnt earlier this year.

The FDA's announcement this week was its first public statement on the issue, although it refused to publish results from its recent testing, saying the investigation was not yet complete.

The statement follows a letter to the FDA from two US Congress members, who demanded the agency explains what it knows about benzene in soft drinks, including action is has taken in the past and intends to take now.

They criticised the FDA's decision in 1990 to trust the industry to get the word out and reformulate, adding this had “amounted to nothing more than empty promises”.

An FDA scientist there at the time told BeverageDaily.com a follow-up survey of soft drinks in 1993 found no problem with benzene.

And, an agency spokesperson said the majority of drinks tested recently contained either no benzene or levels under the US water limit. She re-iterated that none of the levels found so far were considered a health risk for consumers.

Several questions, however, remained unanswered by the FDA.

It was unclear whether the agency was using the five parts per billion limit for benzene in drinking water as applicable to soft drinks. There is no specific limit set for soft drinks.

The agency also declined to comment on what had been done to follow through on elevated benzene levels found in drinks during its Total Diet Study between 1995 and 2001.

Glen Lawrence, a scientist who helped the FDA work out the link between benzene and the ascorbic acid-sodium benzoate combination in drinks in 1990, was unsure about the agency's explanation that testing procedures were to blame for higher benzene levels during the Total Diet Study.

“It is possible, but probably is not important in the beverage analyses,” he said.

Industry testing in 1990 showed that benzene levels were likely to increase in drinks exposed to higher temperatures during transport and storage.

Kevin Keane, of the American Beverage Association (ABA), assured consumers there was no health risk, but said some brands may not be aware of the potential for sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid to form benzene.

“15 years ago it was under control, but this is a fast-growing industry. There are a lot of new companies, a lot of new brands and things have changed,” he told BeverageDaily.com in February.

US lawyers this week filed class action lawsuits against two soft drinks firms – In Zone Brands, who make Bellywahsers drinks, and Polar Beverages – alleging independent lab tests showed they had drinks contaminated with benzene above the US water limit.

Lepke
04-16-2006, 08:56 PM
Heat tests key for benzene in soft drinks

By Chris Mercer


11/04/2006 - Testing soft drinks to reflect the effects of storage and transport conditions will be crucial to realistically monitor benzene formation in different drinks, a former industry scientist told BeverageDaily.com.

Leaving soft drinks in warm conditions, such as a car boot or garage, can significantly increase the chance of benzene forming in the drink, said a scientist who tested the effects of heat and light on benzene in soft drinks for the industry in 1990.
Recent tests by UK and US food safety watchdogs have found several soft drinks containing benzene traces above the countries' respective limits for drinking water. The suspected source was two common ingredients in the drinks – sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

Benzene is a listed carcinogen, although both authorities said the levels found in drinks to date should not pose an immediate health risk.

One scientist who helped the soft drinks industry sort out the same problem in 1990, however, said testing drinks after exposure to heat and light was now crucial.

“When those 38 drinks that [the UK Food Standards Agency] tested positive for benzene are subjected to even short periods of heat and light, they could dramatically increase to beyond the WHO 10 parts per billion water standard.”

He and New York-based lawyer Ross Getman, who have pioneered the re-emergence of the benzene in soft drinks issue, said food safety watchdogs should make sure they expose drinks containing sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid to heat.

Britain's Food Standards Agency has not tested soft drinks for benzene after heat exposure; although a European Commission spokesperson said new guidelines on benzene testing, now being drawn up by the soft drinks industry, were likely to include “predictive testing to simulate storage”.

Industry testing on soft drinks 15 years ago is thought to have found that temperatures of 30°C and exposure to UV light for several hours were enough to more than triple benzene residues in some drinks.

The tests were designed to simulate the worst case scenario, and “were not necessarily representative of what the consumer was receiving”, according to Greg Diachenko, a scientist with the US Food and Drug Administration, who also took part in negotiations with soft drinks makers over benzene in 1990 and 1991.

Data reported by America's soft drinks industry association in the 1980s, however, showed that soft drinks could be exposed to between 32°C and 49°C in US summer months.

The association said hot warehouses and cars parked in direct sunlight were examples of when soft drinks would be exposed to higher temperatures.

“Heat is a major factor” in the formation of benzene in drinks, according to Mike Redman, a scientist with the American Beverage Association and who also represented the industry in meetings with the FDA over benzene in 1990.

Redman told BeverageDaily.com that soft drinks firms reformulated drinks in 1990, mainly by adjusting the levels of sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid, to reduce and control the potential for benzene traces to form.

Still, the continuing presence of soft drinks containing benzene above drinking water standards has led to calls for sodium benzoate to be taken out of drinks formulas.

“What are we to tell consumers? ‘Product contains cancer-causing substance, drink immediately, do not store in a warm environment or near sunlight?' Preferably benzoate should not be used in combination with vitamin C (ascorbic acid) or added juice,” said the scientist involved in industry testing for benzene 15 years ago.

BeverageDaily.com broke the current story on benzene in soft drinks, after it uncovered in February that recent FDA testing had found some drinks containing benzene above America's limit tap water.

Lepke
04-16-2006, 08:58 PM
UK soft drinks in benzene recall

By Chris Mercer


31/03/2006 - Britain’s food safety watchdog has demanded recalls on four soft drinks brands, after it found they were contaminated with benzene at up to 28 times the country’s limit for drinking water.

The UK's Co-op retail chain has withdrawn its Low Calorie Bitter Lemon drink, after tests by the Foods Standards Agency (FSA) found one product contained benzene 28 parts per billion, well above the country's strict one part per billion limit for drinking water.
The FSA has also demanded recalls on supermarket Morrison's no added sugar pineapple as well as Popstar sugar free lemon & lime and Hyberry high juice no added sugar blackcurrant squash.

These contained 11, 17 and 12 parts per billion respectively of benzene, a known carcinogen.

The news comes one month after the US Food and Drug Administration first revealed to BeverageDaily.com it had found some drinks containing benzene above the legal limit for water in the US.

Both it and the FSA have said they believe the benzene was formed through a reaction between two common ingredients – sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) – in the drinks.

A BeverageDaily.com investigation earlier this year confirmed that both the FDA and the American soft drinks association have known about this problem for 15 years.

No public announcement was ever made, and the re-emergence of the problem suggests a communication breakdown.

Andrew Wadge, director of food safety at the UK's FSA, sought to assure consumers Friday that benzene levels found so far in drinks constituted little health risk. He said people got much more benzene from the air they breathed every day.

The FSA said it did not detect benzene in 107 out of 150 soft drinks tested, and a further 38 samples contained benzene between one and 10 parts per billion.

The watchdog, however, said in a statement it wanted more action from the industry.

“These results show that it is technologically possible to produce soft drinks without detectable traces of benzene. This is what we want all manufacturers to do.”

The agency's test results differed from samples of 230 soft drinks taken by the UK soft drinks association three weeks ago. The highest benzene level it found was eight parts per billion.

An FSA spokesperson said it was using the World Health Organisation's 10 parts per billion limit for benzene in drinking water as a benchmark. There is no specific limit for benzene in soft drinks.

A spokesperson for the UK's Co-op retailer said the group was working with suppliers to reduce or remove the potential for benzene to form in its drinks. The soft drinks association, meanwhile, re-iterated on Friday that benzene levels found were low and that drinks were safe.

The FSA now plans to carry out more tests on drinks containing sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid by exposing them to heat and light.

“Heat is a major factor,” according to Mike Redman, an American Beverage Association scientist who also represented the industry in meetings with the FDA on benzene back in 1990/1991.

He said benzene formation could be best controlled by adjusting levels of sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid in the drinks. Industry testing in 1990, led by Cadbury Schweppes, also found the additive EDTA could block benzene formation.

Diet and sugar-free drinks are considered more at risk because sugar has also been found to help block the reaction.