The Coca-Cola Company doesn’t like it, but it’s removing the caramel coloring from Coke due to California declaring the compound to be a carcinogen. Via WBUR:
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When the state of California added the compound 4-methylimidazole, also known as 4-MI or 4-MEI, to its list of known carcinogens in 2011, it created a problem for the soda industry.
The caramel color they used to give colas that distinctive, brown hue contained levels of 4-MI that would have warranted a cancer warning label on every can sold in the state.
And this wasn’t the industry’s only challenge. The Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban ammonia-sulfite caramel color. It’s a request the CSPI repeated this week after finding 4-MI in samples of Coke and Pepsi.
“This is nothing more than CSPI scare tactics, and their claims are outrageous,” writes the American Beverage Association in a statement released to the media.