Carcinogens

The Salt
12:01 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Coca-Cola Modifies Caramel Color To Avoid Cancer Warning Label

Coca-Cola says the caramel coloring in its signature soda has always been safe.
OmerSukruGoksu iStockphoto.com

When the state of California added the compound 4-methylimidazole, also known as 4-MI or 4-MEI, to its list of known carcinogens in 2011, it created a problem for the soda industry.

The caramel color they used to give colas that distinctive, brown hue contained levels of 4-MI that would have warranted a cancer warning label on every can sold in the state.

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