One Of The Biggest Soda Companies In The World Just Admitted: It Contains Cancer-Causing Ingredients

The Center for Environmental Health published the test results confirming that Pepsi deliberately covered up the presence of high levels of 4-Mel in its most popular beverages in 2013!

Pepsi denied that its soft drinks contained this harmful chemical and they also denied that it was even dangerous. 4-Mel, which stands for 4-Methylimidazole, is a carcinogen that forms during the process of making the caramel coloring used in their soft drinks.

Since then, the company fought to comply with Californian state requirements. The requirements demand that the soft drink’s label include a 4-Mel cancer warning so that consumers can understand what they are about to buy. However, it is not just regular Pepsi that contains this chemical, but also Pepsi One and Diet Pepsi.

Right now, an agreement in a class action lawsuit against Pepsi has gained preliminary approval from a federal judge in California. As part of the settlement, Pepsi guaranteed that its caramel coloring’s 4-Mel levels would not exceed 100 parts per billion in all products sold in the U.S. The company will need to examine the soft drink applying specific protocols as well.

Last year, Pepsi agreed to these rules in a different lawsuit that settled in a California state court. However, this new settlement expands the reach of these requirements from California to the entire country.

A Consumer Reports test done in 2014, revealed that the 4-Mel in Pepsi passed the permitted level of 29 micrograms per bottle or can. This means that the company was in breach of common law and consumer protection statutes in the state of California.

This also breaks California’s Proposition 65, which has been in place since 1985 and requires companies to present consumers with precise information about the ingredients used in their products, including cancer-causing and toxic chemicals.

The state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment set 29 micrograms per can or bottle because a product containing this level of 4-Mel increases the risk of cancer to one in 100,000.

A 2013 Mintel and Leatherhead Food Research report, Consumer Reports stated that caramel coloring is the world’s most widely used food coloring. Back then, Pepsi attempted to say that because Prop 65 relates to exposure of the caramel coloring per day and not exposure per can, there was no need to place a warning on it. Pepsi also argued that the average amount of diet soft drink a person consume daily is less than a can. However, the Consumer Reports disagreed, saying:

“No matter how much consumers drink they do not expect their beverages to have a potential carcinogen in them. Moreover, we do not think 4-Mel should be in foods at all. Our tests of Coke samples show that it is possible to get much lower levels,” toxicologist Dr. Urvashi Rangan said.


Soft drinks contain harmful and toxic components. Avoid them and choose freshly squeezed juices instead. Why put yourself at risk from an ingredient which does nothing more than color your drink. Nevertheless, consumers have the right to know what they put in their bodies. The prevalence of books like Food Forensics illustrates the increasing desire for Americans to understand what ingredients their foods contain.

Whats more, the cancer-causing caramel coloring in Pepsi is not the only reason consumers should be informed. Soft drinks, in general, are believed to be behind the U.S.’s obesity epidemic. A study from UCLA discovered that adults who consumed one sugary drink such as soft drink every single day had a 27 percent higher likelihood of being classified as overweight than those who did not drink such beverages.

Furthermore, if you drink soft drinks every day, it can add up a total of 39 pounds of sugar each year. So if you just cut out of your life soft drinks, you are reducing obesity and also keeping away from cancer-causing chemicals at the same time.


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