The Coca-Cola Co., Inc. and PepsiCo, Inc. both said they will change the way they add caramel coloring to their flagship sodas after a study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest revealed the presence of a carcinogen in some containers.
CSPI found the presence of low levels of the chemical 4-methylimidazole in some samples of Coca-Cola and Pepsi during tests it had run in February. As a result, the organization had petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban the use of caramel coloring manufactured in a way to yield the byproduct.
The American Beverage Association also released a statement that its member companies would adjust their own caramel coloring processes to meet the California standard, although products already on the market were not a reason for health concerns.
According to the FDA, consumers would need to drink hundreds 1,000 cans of soda a day — or more — to cause any concern, although CSPI disputes that, saying any carcinogenic presence should cause concern.