(NaturalNews) Last March, a third party watchdog group, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) found dangerous levels of a carcinogen in the caramel coloring of Coke and Pepsi products.
The carcinogen, 4-methylimidazole, is a byproduct created during the production of caramel coloring. As the caramel coloring goes under high pressures and temperatures, sugars react with ammonia and sulfites, forming the 4-MEI byproduct.
When animal studies showed "clear evidence" that 4-MEI was a toxic carcinogen, including thyroid, liver, and lung cancer incidents, the National Toxicology Program threw up red flags.
It was in 2011 that the state of California responded to the lab results, effectively banning the carcinogen from their state. Since then, all cola products in the state of California have been required to be properly marked with a cancer causing warning label, according to Prop 65 consumer protection laws.
Over a year later, Pepsi still contains high levels of 4-MEI
In the wake of their products being exposed, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo began to change their soda formula for products sold in California. They took an even bigger leap forward when they gave CEH their word that they would not only change their California products, but they would also change their nationwide formula as well, eliminating the production of the carcinogenic 4-MEI altogether.
Unfortunately, according to CEH, over a year later, Pepsi hasn't complied. Pepsi purchased from ten states reportedly still contains high levels of 4-MEI, while Coca-Cola has taken drastic measures to rid 4-MEI from their products.
Executive Director of CEH, Michael Green, reiterated the importance of honest state labeling laws that help consumers make informed choices. "We applaud Coke for taking this health protective action for consumers nationwide. Pepsi's delay is inexplicable. We urge the company to take swift action to provide all Americans with the same safer product they're selling in California."
Pepsi: 4 to 8 times more poisonous
After asking 10 volunteers across the country to purchase Coke and Pepsi products from 10 different states, the CEH gathered the samples in early June 2013 and tested them for the carcinogen. Lab tests revealed little or no 4-MEI in nine out of ten Coke products, whereas, all ten of the Pepsi samples contained high levels of the carcinogen. Furthermore, outside California, Pepsi products were found to be 4 to 8 times more poisonous than the Pepsi products sold inside California!
According to CEH testing, consumers outside California who drink 24oz of Pepsi per week, are ingesting well over the safe level of 4-MEI. In perspective, nearly half of Americans (48%) drink at least 20oz of soda each day. This means that about half of Americans are continuously poisoning themselves each day.
Beyond 4-MEI, phosphoric acid and HFCS pose their own slate of dangers
Apart from consuming the cancer causing 4-MEI, Americans are also ingesting Coke and Pepsi's cocktail of phosphoric acid and HFCS. Phosphoric acid effectively creates a high acidity level inside the body, forcing the body to pull calcium and other minerals from the natural reserves in the bones. This leads to lower bone density.
Alongside that, soda pop contains high fructose corn syrup. Derived from genetically modified corn, HFCS is 80 percent fructose, which is rabidly converted to fat by the liver, leading to an excess concentration of fats and lipoproteins in the body. Causing a rise in triglyceride levels, HFCS promotes a wide array of health problems including atherosclerosis, diabetes, elevated cardiovascular risk, and more.
What's Pepsi going to do?
The carcinogenic production of 4-methylimidazole byproducts may be phased out of America in 2014. According to PepsiCo Senior Director Aurora Gonzalez, "Our caramel coloring suppliers have been working on modifying the manufacturing process to reduce the amount of 4-MEI. As you know, 4-MEI levels in our products in California are below Prop 65 levels. The rest of the U.S. will be completed by February 2014. In fact, we'll be starting the process and shipping concentrate by the end of this year."
Maybe it's time for some honest labeling about the dangers of the GMO high fructose corn syrup.