Does your can of Coca-Cola contain a cancer causing chemical?

A few months ago Coke changed the formulation of its famous drink in California after concerning science was revealed about 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MI, which is used in the soda’s caramel colouring. 

Now a report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a U.S. watchdog organization, suggests that in a number of countries from Kenya to Brazil, the drink still contains an elevated level of the chemical which has been linked to cancer in animals.

The group tested samples of Coke were tested in nine countries with all showing alarming amounts" of the chemical.  

In March Coca-Cola, along with rival PepsiCo, said the companies had requested that suppliers of their caramel colouring change their manufacturing process to reduce the chemical. Bottles of Coke sampled in California contained only four micrograms of 4-MI per 12 ounces. The state requires a warning label if a product would lead consumers to ingest 30 micrograms or more daily.

But samples the group took from Coke products in Brazil contained 277 micrograms per 12 ounces and in Kenya, 177 micrograms. In Washington, D.C. samples still contained 145 micrograms said CSPI. The American FDA has however said that a person would have to drink a thousand cans a day to reach the levels that cause cancer in animals. (Reuters)

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