9. The caramel coloring in some sodas contains cancer-causing chemicals
If you’re a fan of Coca-Cola, Pepsi, or any other cola drink, you may want to put down your can and listen to this.
The brown or caramel coloring that gives these sodas their trademark look contains two contaminants that are known to cause cancer in animals – 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole.
Research published this year by PLOS ONE quotes the US National Toxicology Program, which concluded that there was “clear evidence of carcinogenic activity in male and female mice.”
The craziest part about all this is that caramel coloring is used purely for aesthetic purposes and doesn’t affect the taste of the cola at all. I think even the most dedicated cola fans would be willing to give it up in exchange for a lowered cancer risk!
In 2011, California’s Proposition 65 law stated that the levels of 4-methylimidazole contained in sodas would require a cancer warning label on each unit sold in the state.
Since then, both Coca-Cola and Pepsi have claimed to have switched to a coloring not containing 4-methylimidazole.
However, testing of Pepsi outside of California has shown that it still contains unsafe levels of the chemical. Your best bet? Stay away!