Soda is bad for your health. But it may be even worse than you’d thought. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the “caramel coloring” used in Coke, Pepsi and other sodas is carcinogenic.
The artificial brown coloring is made by reacting corn sugar with ammonia and sulfites under high pressures and at high temperatures. This produces the chemicals 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, which have been found to cause lung, liver and thyroid cancer in lab rats and mice.
“Caramel coloring” certainly SOUNDS benign enough—no one would ever suspect it would be among the most dangerous ingredients on your Pepsi label.
But just as MSG hides behind the names “gelatin” and “yeast extract” and “brown rice syrup,” these dangerous byproducts are silently concealed beneath the name “caramel coloring,” which most likely conjures up fond memories of delectable caramel apple treats at Halloween, rather than cancer-causing chemicals.
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