Coca Cola And Pepsi Change Recipe To Avoid Cancer Warning

09/03/2012 07:42 | Updated 09 March 2012

Drink giants Coca Cola and Pepsi have altered their recipes in order to avoid having to display cancer warnings on their products, they announced on Thursday.

The new recipe for the caramel colouring used in the drinks has been changed to comply with California laws. The state has added 4-methylimidazole (4-MI), an ingredient used in the fizzy drinks recipes, to its list of carcinogens.

The manufacturing process will be modified in order to reduce the levels of 4-MI which can formed during the cooking process.

The change, which has already been introduced in California, will now be rolled out across the US as manufacturers claim the alteration makes the drinks more efficient to manufacture.

The drinks have been linked to cancer in mice and rats but an individual would need to drink 1,000 cans of Coke or Pepsi to take in the same dose of the chemical given to animals in the lab tests, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.

"Consumers will notice no difference in our products and have no reason at all for any health concerns," the association said in a statement.

California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment requite any produced containing a level of 29 micrograms of 4-MI had to bear a cancer warning label. According to a study by the Centre for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) the soft drink cans contained levels nearing 140 micrograms in each 12-ounce can.

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