The Center for Science in the Public Interest group is speaking out about the potential hazards of two chemicals used to create the caramel coloring for certain soda drinks.
The organization filed a petition Wednesday regarding the ingredients 2-methylimidazole and 4 methylimidazole, commonly known as 2-MEI and 4-MEI. According to the consumer group, certain government studies found that these ingredients caused various cancers in mice and rats.
"The State of California is so concerned about this that they have listed one of these ingredients on their list of substances known to cause cancer, and they want to limit the amount to no more than 16 micrograms a day," CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said on The Early Show. "To put that into context for you, 20 ounces of cola can contain 12 times that amount."
The American Beverage Association issued a response to the petition, stating:
"4-MEI is not a threat to human health. There is no evidence that 4-MEI causes cancer in humans. No health regulatory agency around the globe, including the Food and Drug Administration, has said that 4-MEI is a human carcinogen. This petition is nothing more than another attempt to scare consumers by an advocacy group long-dedicated to attacking the food and beverage industry."
Although there are two staunchly different opinions to this issue, for those undergoing cancer treatment, the National Cancer Institute advises that patients should continue to pay close attention to what they eat and drink as cancer nutrition is an important and vital step toward recovery.
What do you think?