Posted on | March 9, 2012 | 1 Comment
Coke and Pepsi whom account for more than 90% of the US soft drink market are changing the way they manufacture their drinks after the FDA banned the use of a carcinogenic ingredient used to make artificial brown caramel colouring.
In February a California law has mandated that drinks containing certain levels of carcinogens must carry a CANCER WARNING LABEL – so to avoid this potentially harmful LABELLING the manufacturers are modifying the amount of Ammonia Sulfite and 4-methylimidazole (chemicals used to make brown caramel colouring).
Whilst this law change has been isolated to California initially, it seems that nationwide changes will occur to production.
Naturally, backlash has occurred. There seems to be much debate over the findings and hastiness in implementing the warnings. The American Beverage Association noted that California added the colouring to its list of carcinogens with no studies showing that it causes cancer in humans and based these changes on a single study in lab mice and rats. They also go on to say that a consumer would have to drink more than 1,000 cans of soft drink a day to reach the doses that have shown links to cancer in rodents.
In a recent web article, a representative for Coca-Cola, Diana Garza-Ciarlante, says “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”.
My personal opinion is = GREAT. I would like to totally ban artificial colours and flavours from every single product manufactured. Why – artificial is artificial. They are made from chemical bases which cause health problems. Importantly, there are much safer and natural options available that should be used. I see this as a positive change, and believe that manufacturers should try to be more accountable for their consumers health.
Here’s some further information taken from Wikipedia about Ammonia Sulfite and it’s other uses:
- Ammonium sulfite is a reducing agent. It emits sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen upon heating to decomposition.
- For cosmetics, ammonium sulfite is used as a hair straightening agent and a hair waving agent. Ammonium based hair products have been made to replace sodium hydroxide based products due to the destructive nature of sodium hydroxide on hair.
- The most common food product with ammonium sulfite is caramel coloring. According to the FDA, caramel colouring contains ammonium, potassium, or sodium sulfite.
- Ammonium sulfite is used as a reducing agent in photography. When film photographs are being developed ammonium sulfite can be one of the reducing agents used to develop the negative.
- Ammonium sulfite can also be used in the making of bricks. The bricks made using ammonium sulfite are mainly used for blast furnace linings.
- Ammonium sulfite can be included in lubricants for cold metal working. The lubricants are intended to reduce friction to keep heat production down and keep impurities out of the metals.
- Ammonium sulfite has been used in gas scrubbers. The ammonium sulfite reacts with acidic air samples as a reducing agent. The Air is reduced to a more neutral pH which makes it less harmful to the environment.