It’s not been a very good week for the soda industry. First, we told you about the potential link between diet soda and heart and stroke risks, now a consumer advocacy group is urging the Food and Drug Administration to ban some chemically-enhanced caramel food colorings used in soda, as they say it can cause cancer.
While the group still thinks that the threat of obesity related to drinking soda is a bigger health threat, they are petitioning the FDA to ban the caramels in question. While pure caramel is made from melted sugar, but two types used in food coloring have ammonia in them which produce compounds shown to cause various cancers in animal studies done by the National Institutes of Health.
“The American public should not be exposed to any cancer risk whatsoever as a result of consuming such chemicals, especially when they serve a non-essential, cosmetic purpose,” wrote scientists from National Institutes of Health in a statement to the FDA.
Of course soda makers and The American Beverage Association were not going to take the serious accusations quietly. The ABA is calling the accusations “scare tactics,” which I guess isn’t totally untrue whichever side you’re on. They are definitely trying to scare you out of drinking soda.