SACREMENTO - A new California law mandating that beverages with a particular carcinogen level must have cancer warning labels has triggered a change in recipes for Coke, Pepsi and Dr Pepper Snapple, the Associated Press reports.
The recipe changes will be rolled out nationally for all three companies for ease in manufacturing. Coke, Pepsi and Dr Pepper Snapple products currently sold in California all meet the new standards.
The American Beverage Association (ABA) said soda will continue to contain caramel coloring, but that recipes were tweaked to meet the California law. "Consumers will notice no difference in our products and have no reason at all for any health concerns," the ABA said. The association also pointed out that the state put coloring on a carcinogens list even though no study exists linking that chemical to cancer in humans.
Coca-Cola asked its caramel suppliers to lower the levels of the chemical 4- methylimidazole in order to meet the new standards. "While we believe that there is no public health risk that justifies any such change, we did ask our caramel suppliers to take this step so that our products would not be subject to the requirement of a scientifically unfounded warning," said Diana Garza-Ciarlante, a Coca-Cola representative.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration asking for a ban on ammonia-sulfite caramel coloring. While the agency is currently reviewing the petition, a spokesman said that a consumer would have to down more than 1,000 soda cans daily to reach the dosage levels shown to link to cancer in rodents.