Report: Most Common Coloring in Foods/Drinks Could Cause Cancer

Image: Coca Cola (Wikimedia Commons).
Image: Coca Cola (Wikimedia Commons).

By Elizabeth Renter, February 11, 2014

It’s the most widely used food color in the world, though few know enough about caramel color to know it should be avoided. Aside from being brown, it bears no similarities to the sweet candy flavor it’s named after. As a matter of fact, not appetizing at all, it contains a potentially cancer-causing ingredient. A recent Consumer Reports study found that you may be receiving more of it than what’s generally assumed to be safe.

According to Consumer Reports, 4-methylimidazole (4-Mel) has been shown to cause cancer in mice. The International Agency for Research on Cancer found it to be similarly “possibly carcinogenic to humans” in 2011. Though there is no federal limit for caramel color or it’s dangerous ingredient 4-Mel in foods and beverages, there is a limit in California. More Information

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