Both the Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo Inc. are making a change in one of the ingredients of their most popular drinks.
The two companies are doing this to avoid placing labels on the drinks that say they may cause cancer. A new California law would have required them to do just that if not for the change.
Gina Anderson, a spokesperson for PepsiCo, said that “Consumers will notice no difference in our products and have no reason at all for any health concerns.”
Coca-Cola also announced that the change will not affect the drink. A statement released by the company said “We have asked our caramel manufacturers to modify their production process to reduce the amount of 4-MEI in the caramel, but that will have no effect on the formula or on the great-tasting, high-quality products that consumers expect from us. These modifications will not affect the color or taste of Coca-Cola. “
Last year California added a compound called 4-methylimidazole to its list of known carcinogens. The caramel coloring used to give Coke and Pepsi that well recognized brown color contain a minute amount of the substance.
Some claim that the state has gone overboard in its regulations. Even the US Food and Drug Administration (USDA) jumped into the controversy, saying in a response to a petition concerning the compound that “a consumer would have to consume well over a thousand cans of soda a day to reach the doses administered in the studies that have shown links to cancer in rodents.”
Both companies have said they are asking their caramel color suppliers to make the change. Bot have reiterated that it will not change the color or taste of the drinks.