Does caramel coloring cause cancer? Cola industry says claim falls flat
March 7th, 2012
05:00 PM ET
Share this on:

This week, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit Washington-based watchdog group on nutrition and food safety, once again pushed the Food and Drug Administration to look at the chemicals – or “caramel coloring” – that turn cola brown.

The CSPI’s petition asks the FDA to ban caramel colorings that are produced by an ammonia or ammonia-sulfite process and contain 2-methylimidazole (2-MI) and 4-methylimidazole (4-MI). The petition, originally filed on February 16, 2011, claims both 2-MI and 4-MI are “carcinogenic in animal studies.”

The animal studies linking 4-MI to cancer in lab mice and rats prompted the state of California to officially list 4-MI as a carcinogen on January 7, 2011, under California’s Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. There have been no studies thus far on the chemicals’ risk to humans.

The most recent call to arms from the CSPI comes after the watchdog group found a sampling of colas, including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Pepsi and Diet Pepsi, surpassed the allotted 29 milligrams of 4-MI per day under Proposition 65.

CSPI also urged the FDA to change the “caramel coloring” label to “chemically modified caramel coloring” or “ammonia-sulfite process caramel coloring” to avoid any confusion with consumers over the coloring’s makeup.

“When most people see ‘caramel coloring’ on food labels, they likely interpret that quite literally and assume the ingredient is similar to what you might get by gently melting sugar in a saucepan,” said CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson in a public statement.

The statement continued, “The reality is quite different. Colorings made with the ammonia or ammonia-sulfite process contain carcinogens and don’t belong in the food supply. In any event, they shouldn’t be obscured by such an innocuous-sounding name as ‘caramel coloring.’"

But reviews of the data by the FDA and American Beverage Association found the causation between caramel coloring and the risk of cancer to be insufficient.

"This is nothing more than CSPI scare tactics, and their claims are outrageous. The science simply does not show that 4-MEI in foods or beverages is a threat to human health," responded the American Beverage Association in a news release.

The beverage association also noted that, "In fact, findings of regulatory agencies worldwide, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, European Food Safety Authority and Health Canada, consider caramel coloring safe for use in foods and beverages. CSPI fraudulently claims to be operating in the interest of the public's health when it is clear its only motivation is to scare the American people."

The FDA lists caramel coloring as "generally recognized as safe" or “GRAS.” Regardless, members of the beverage association – including Coca-Cola – will modify the coloring so they can continue to sell their products in California without a cancer warning label.

“Our member companies will still use caramel coloring in certain products, as always. The companies that make caramel coloring for our members' soft drinks are producing it to meet California's new standard,” the beverage association said in a separate statement.

“Consumers will notice no difference in our products and have no reason at all for any health concerns.”

In 2011 when the CSPI first filed the petition, former director of the Vanderbilt University Center in Molecular Toxicology and well-known toxicologist F. Peter Guengerich spoke to ABC News.

“If you look at the study in terms of what the mice got, in terms of causing any effect, a human being would have to drink more than 1,000 sodas a day,” he said.

Today, his opinion remains the same.

Guengerich said in a statement this week, “The amounts of 4-MI consumed in beverages (and food) is extremely low compared to the high, long-term levels given the mice and rats, and extrapolation of either any harmful or beneficial results from these rodent models to humans at this time is not scientifically valid.”

soundoff (278 Responses)
  1. Veritas

    Why do we have ammonia in our food? Ammonia is not food.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:33 am |
    • SixDegrees

      Ammonia occurs naturally in many foods. It can be so prevalent in brie cheese that the scent is quite noticeable, and is always present is significant amounts even when not so pungently obvious.

      March 8, 2012 at 10:48 am |
  2. Ron.

    Just wish folks would investigate what is causing this unnatural rise of cancer.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:16 am |
    • No one

      talking/thinking about cancer causes cancer

      March 8, 2012 at 3:20 am |
    • Drew

      It's quite possible that cancer itself ISN'T on the rise, but our advances in medical technology simply allow us to diagnose earlier and more accurately.

      March 8, 2012 at 3:28 am |
      • Oorah

        Whew! Refreshing, Drew. Thank you. That felt good.

        March 8, 2012 at 8:05 am |
      • dom625

        Not only are our detection methods better now than in the past but people are now living much longer than before. Has anyone done an age-breakdown for cancer incidences? Are most of them occurring in older people? That would make sense to me, because if we prevent most natural diseases that would previously kill someone, they could live long enough to develop cancer.

        March 8, 2012 at 11:00 am |
      • LarryLuvv

        Cancer is a man made disease. We have done autopsies on mummified bodies from centuries ago and practically no traces of cancer was to be found. Even childhood cancers were non existant. Lots of factors contribute to it. Carbon Monoxide from emmissions, food additives, and lifestyle.

        March 8, 2012 at 11:47 am |
        • Aaron

          Actually, that isn't true. There was a recent study that found cancer in a mummified body that was several thousands of years old that showed that cancer existed long ago. While it probably wasn't as prevalent as it is today with so many carcinogens around, it still existed.

          March 8, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Eric

      When life expectancy was 40, people didn't die of cancer so much because other things killed them first. Oh, and cancer probably killed some of those people too, but they didn't know it at the time.

      March 8, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  3. Kurtis

    If your going to get cancer it's just going to happen. No food or anything else is going to change that.

    March 8, 2012 at 2:26 am |
    • Ron.

      Talk about ignorance. What do you think causes all this cancer in the first place. Cancer is sky rocketing.

      March 8, 2012 at 3:04 am |
      • ralph

        As others have posted, it is very difficult to separate cause of cancer from detection of cancer. Our ability to detect cancer, through advanced technology, is sky rocketing. Causes are not necessarily. There is a lot of ignorance here.

        March 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
        • KJC

          Nvertheless, that statement that "if you're going to get cancer, you just will" is still ridiculous. For example, I don't think very many people are just "bound" to get lung cancer with the same liklihood, regardless of whether or not they smoke. Smoking causes cancer. Some behaviors do have OBVIOUS effects on your likelihood of getting cancer.

          March 8, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Louise

      Awesome! I'm going to go out and start smoking four packs a day! Thanks for the tip.

      March 8, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • ralph

      I wonder then why so many scientists think that smoking 5 packs of cigarettes per day increases one's chances of developing lung cancer, given that cancer is simply destiny?

      March 8, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  4. FU

    Add this to poisons like Aspartame that Rumsfeld helped push past the FDA and you have a spicy meatball!

    March 8, 2012 at 2:17 am |
    • ralph

      Actually, this is not true. Aspartame is the most thoroughly tested food additive in the history of the FDA. From the scientific perspective, it's the one thing we know that doesn't cause cancer.

      March 8, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • jj

      The strong acid in aspartame hurts the stomach.

      March 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
      • JEM

        Speak for yourself. I drink Diet Coke and Equal is my choice for a sugar substitute. No stomach problems at all.

        March 8, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
      • JeramieH

        Do you even know the pH of your stomach acid?

        March 8, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
      • Ooorah

        Worrying about aspartame causes excess acid in the stomach which can cause discomfort.

        March 9, 2012 at 7:45 am |
  5. PhloxSkye

    we all gonna die anyway

    March 8, 2012 at 2:07 am |
    • oneSTARman

      What is with all the NIHILISM? Why does our SPECIES have such an OVERBLOWN Death Wish and NO WILL To LIVE? How the He3 are we going to get to the STARS? It will Take US 1000 Years to Develop the Warp Theory and build the Giant Laser Near the sun to Heat a Iron-Nickel Asteroid and SPIN it into a Bubble ship for 40,000,000,000 Refugees. Don't you KNOW we have a DESTINY

      March 8, 2012 at 2:23 am |
      • John

        One of the things that comes with intelligent life, comes the realization of one's own mortality.

        March 8, 2012 at 3:00 am |
        • KJC

          Still, I choose not to smoke 20 cigarettes a day, becuase I'd rather live to 95 than 65....

          March 8, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  6. Walter Weinzinger

    I don't believe the ingredients in soda cause cancer, but all the acids in sodas accelerate acidosis, the "acidification" of our bodies. Supposedly cancers thrive in an acidic environment. So, although not causing cancer, sodas make it easier for cancer to get a foothold and deter our bodies' natural defense mechanisms. Acidosis also leads to osteoporosis as the body attempts to neutralize the excess acid in our body by using alkali minerals in our bones. Soda pop in general, diet or caffeinated or not, are simply a bad idea for our overall health. Better to avoid them altogether if possible.

    March 8, 2012 at 2:01 am |
    • tim

      stop making sense

      March 8, 2012 at 3:46 am |
    • Willie12345

      A well thought out comment. Thanks for posting it.

      March 8, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Joe T.

      You can't take my Mountain Dew away!

      March 8, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Homer

      Your stomach acid is much more acidic than the soda

      March 8, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • ralph

      The problem is that there are no in vivo data to support this claim.

      March 8, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • JeramieH

      Everything that goes into your stomach becomes acidic.

      March 8, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  7. Simple Life

    Why not just use BURNT SUGAR to color the stuff?

    March 8, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • Oorah

      By burnt sugar, did you mean caramelized ... oh ... wait ...

      March 8, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • jim

      Sugar's too expensive.

      March 8, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • KJC

      Don't some burnt things have carcinogens? I don't honestly know about what happens when we burn sugar, but I am curious...

      March 8, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  8. ryan

    seriously, why color it at all? Just leave it the natural color (whatever that is...)

    March 8, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Ben

      Crystal Pepsi – didn't work out so well.

      March 8, 2012 at 1:57 am |
    • Scott

      Because people are stupid and they need to be fed lies. Next time you want to eat anything out of a package, take a look at the ingredients list – it's a chemistry project of colorings and preservatives. Not to be alarmist, but we would be well served in this country to return to a more local approach to food supply (take all the eggs out of one basket), a more natural approach to farming (reduce nitrogen introduction that's choking the waterways) and a more educated approach to what we stuff into our bodies. We might also look to Europe, who's cancer treatments are far in advance of our own.

      March 8, 2012 at 9:34 am |
      • Iknowright?

        When diet coke first came out, I pounced on it and was drinking it like I do water today. Back then, nobody said boo about it. Years later, I mentioned to my mother that I was thinking about switching to Crystal Light. She freaked saying, "But that's all chemicals!!" I laaaaaaughed.

        March 8, 2012 at 9:44 am |
      • Joe T.

        Local shopping? There are no more local grocery stores anymore. At least none that are reasonable priced.

        March 8, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  9. Steven

    I suspect that articles like these will facilitate the process by which consumers will be taxed for every single calorie they purchase. M&M Mars is already going to stop producing larger sized candy bars, limiting them to 250 calories.

    Right now, what you buy and consume is voluntary. However, in a few years, when cash becomes obsolete, your purchases will be monitored and regulated. This will be tied to the use of electronic medical records, so if you weigh too much, you will limited in how many calories you can purchase. Don't you worry, though, because this is being done "to help you" and to protect the new health care system designed to help all Americans!

    Imagine going to a box store, scanning your method of payment, and some booger-picking Wal-Mart goon telling you, "You can't buy that candy, because the system says here that you have exceded your monthly caloric intake."

    Have a nice day!

    March 8, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • Walter Weinzinger

      Betcha they'll still charge the same (or just about the same) for the smaller candy bars. Everybody does it. They keep the price the same but start reducing the amount of product you're buying. When's the last time you bought an actual half-gallon of ice cream? They may say it's for health reasons. No – they're just looking for an excuse to reduce the amount of candy in the package and increase their profits.

      March 8, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • Dr. B

      Somebody's been reading a little too much science fiction.

      March 8, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Joe T.

      Steven, if that were true cigarettes would be working towards being banned completely.

      March 8, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  10. JacklynD

    I gave up smoking, drink only a little, stopped using butter, cream and cheese on my lean burgers without mayonnaise. I am NOT giving up my Diet Coca Cola.

    March 8, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • ryan

      That diet coke is probably worse for you than butter and cream. You're just drinking a bottle of chemicals.. what harm could come from that?

      March 8, 2012 at 1:49 am |
      • Snap

        Ryan, you dolt, EVERYTHING is a chemical. Water is a chemical. Air is a chemical.

        March 8, 2012 at 2:30 am |
        • truth

          Yes, almost everything IS a chemical. Water, however, is a naturally occurring substance that we need to survive. Diet Coke, etc are NOT natural and are known to be horribly bad for humans. That is ok with you, though. Be stupid, keep drinking the poisons they feed you!

          March 8, 2012 at 3:07 am |
    • hudson

      I'm with you. Going out with Turkey burger and a diet coke. Buns fried in 'I Can't Believe It's Not Butter'. And sweet potato fries -baked. pffffft on Cali.

      March 8, 2012 at 2:37 am |
    • jj

      Watch out for aspartame in that diet Coke, very bad for you.

      March 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
      • Marty

        You just keep drinking that koolaid. Thaaaaaat's a good little sheeple.

        March 8, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  11. BigRed

    "The science simply does not show that 4-MEI in foods or beverages is a threat to human health." Aren't these the same sort of people who said; "Nicotine in cigarettes is not harmful to human life and is certainly not a cause for cancer."?

    March 8, 2012 at 1:38 am |
  12. Mark Knight

    HFCS got its name changed by the cola billionaires and now once this gets people angry, they will just change its name to something else and keep on poisoning the consumer... and people are stupid enough to drink this stuff by the gallon daily. To quote a phrase heard once "sick, sad world!"

    March 8, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • Joe T.

      If you don't like it, you don't have to drink it. Everybody knows that cola is bad for you. If people want to drink it, let them.

      You remind me of those vegan people who look at me in disgust every time I mention eating any kind of meat or dairy product.

      March 8, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  13. Veritas

    Who cares if research says coloring in cola only causes cancer in animals? It MUST cause cancer in humans, since the cancer is caused by a chemical, right? After all, catnip has been found to cause strange and unpredictable behavior in felines. Therefore, it must cause the same reactions in humans.

    Come on zenfascists; correct me! The cola coloring and the hallucinogen in catnip are both chemicals, right? So by your logic they must affect both animals and humans in exactly the same way!

    Seriously, take a 100-level Biology class, you clowns. You are no better than creationists with your "ideology before science" attitude.

    March 8, 2012 at 1:07 am |
  14. Angie

    Personally, I'll keep drinking Coca-Cola until the day I die...If people are not going to die my death, why do they want to live my life??? I love Coca-Cola and if it kills me, how does that affect anybody else??? Geezzzzzzzzz people, get a grip.... =o/

    March 8, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • BigRed

      Hope someone has the common sense to make sure that you have a great big life insurance policy, with them as the beneficiary!

      March 8, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • JacklynD

      Well, I'd like to know if something is ammonia rather than sugar and I'd like them to change the ingredients to reflect what we think we are drinking not the other way around.

      March 8, 2012 at 1:42 am |
  15. Angie

    Exactly!!! Personally, I'll keep drinking Coca-Cola until the day I die...If people are not going to die my death, why do they want to live my life??? I love Coca-Cola and if it kills me, how does that affect anybody else??? Geezzzzzzzzz people, get a grip.... =o/

    March 8, 2012 at 1:04 am |
  16. M-Theory

    french fries and cola cause cancer plus beef patties have salmonella......... Come on America -you deserve a break today!

    Keep eating fast's darwinism.

    March 8, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • Dr. B

      Ok, I will keep eating it. And since my body and my descendants' bodies will have adapted to survive on artificial food, we therefore will survive the coming apocalypse much better than you silly vegans who depend on plants to live.


      March 8, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  17. Brian D

    The biggest hole in all of these arguments against this food or that – is the fact that seniors continue to live to 90+ years old, despite having terrible living conditions as children, eating unhealthy foods their entire lives, yet they live a long, productive life.

    The real agenda is to control over the population. The liberals want total control of everything you do in your life and they will use every means possible to gain that control. They will use healthcare cost savings as the reasoning why the government should have control over what foods you put in your body. Once they gain control over your health, they use that power to control your actions as a way of 'cost savings' for the 'better good' of society as a whole. The left is on a crusade to control the population by attaching a governmental cost to every aspect of your life. Once a price tag is attached, they can use the cost to manipulate the public's perception of lifestyles and personal choice to their favor.

    From regulation and banning of food, to government control over reproduction through 'reproductive health' initiatives, the bottom line is, it' all about control and power with 'good intentions', freedom and liberty be damned. Give and inch and they take a mile.

    March 8, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • luked

      Actually, people are dying of diseases a lot sooner. Strokes, heart attacks, dimensia, alzhiemers...look at the issues are kids have, ADD, etc. We are poisoning ourselves more than ever all so corporate deities can make a buck. Btw, I'm a republican.

      March 8, 2012 at 1:03 am |
      • Democratic Watchdog Group For Good Safety For Everyone

        Our studies have shown that being a Republican causes cancer.

        March 8, 2012 at 1:51 am |
        • Liberal Stooge


          March 8, 2012 at 7:56 am |
      • ralph

        Um, no, life expectancy is increasing. You have this backwards.

        March 8, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • ben

      I hate when people have great arguments and then say liberals do this and conservatives do that. No one has any idea of what liberals or conservatives have in mind. If you're going to break it down just say why do white people keep doing this as that is very accurate as well.

      Didn't read your comment after you started accusing it was off to a good start to.

      March 8, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • M-Theory

      Looks like a bit too much Huxley and Orwell along with that Fox News silliness and some conservative political narrative for dessert.

      Do you really believe this stuff? Do you live in cave somewhere?

      March 8, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • jj

      When the senior citizens were young, there were few or no artificial packaged foods with chemicals. They ate real eggs, real meat, real veggies, real fish, real butter. It was only when hydrogenated oils and packaged foods came along, that a lot of health problems began. These long-lived seniors may set the longevity records, and life-spans could actually decrease in their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, who are increasingly obese and eating very bad packaged foods and chemicals marketed and sold to them by greedy corporations.

      March 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  18. Fiona

    Why would anyone want to drink chemical-laden, diluted sugar water (or, in the case of diet soda, chemicals dissolved in water)? I haven't had a soda in nearly 20 years.

    March 8, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • Robbing Peter to pay Paul

      Congratulations. What's your consumption of bourbon like?

      March 8, 2012 at 12:59 am |
      • Ca Ed

        Personally, I prefer single malt Scotch but have been known to temporally set my preferences aside and have other whiskeys.

        If you really want your daily allotment of Carmel, try Dark Run.

        March 8, 2012 at 1:51 am |
    • Cynthia

      It's because most Americans are spoil brats that have no control over their candy intake! whawha Let them drink and eat what they want. They'll die younger and the rest of us will be better off without them. The only down side is that the rest of us will end up paying for some of their medical bills when they get diabetes, ...

      March 8, 2012 at 1:23 am |
      • Sandy

        Here's some bad news: you're going to die. You may even die from diabetes, despite not eating candy and not drinking soda. As a society, we've become all too fond of Blaming the Victim when people become ill, looking for reasons why they're ill, and why it won't happen to us. This may make us feel smug, but it doesn't grant eternal life. Better to remember that one day we may be in need and not selfishly begrudge supporting a fellow human being.

        March 8, 2012 at 1:36 am |
  19. Jde

    Red M&M's anyone?

    March 8, 2012 at 12:48 am |
  20. lakeside2

    @There.Are.No.Gods! Instead of being a wise-a$$, I suggest that you re-read the following paragraph:

    In 2011 when the CSPI first filed the petition, former director of the Vanderbilt University Center in Molecular Toxicology and well-known toxicologist F. Peter Guengerich spoke to ABC News.
    “If you look at the study in terms of what the mice got, in terms of causing any effect, a human being would have to drink more than 1,000 sodas a day,” he said.

    There's your scientist. And mine. I have no reason to believe that he's part of the cola industry's conspiracy to kill us.

    March 8, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • flubber

      I guess that makes some sense but it would also have to taken into account people with Genome/DNA that could be susceptible to carcinogenic triggers that could lead to cancer...After all if you kill your consumers you have no one to sell to unless that is the global plan of the wealthy....hmmmmm hard to say

      March 8, 2012 at 12:57 am |
  21. davidintel

    Reading pointless articles kills brain cells. I cant tock now, my wips r lik wubber. oba da dee doe doe...........

    March 8, 2012 at 12:19 am |
  22. dadguy

    does consuming a beverage mixed in a lab consisting of acid, sugars, and chemically derived flavors raise the risk of cancer?

    Does a bullet to the head result in a brain injury?

    March 8, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • mike

      Haha, best comment..

      March 8, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • M-Theory

      a bullet to the head can be carcinogenic

      March 8, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • Aha - that's it

      So when did you get shot? Did it hurt?

      March 8, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • Filter

      Hey man. nice shot.

      March 8, 2012 at 7:54 am |
      • Joe T.

        Good shot mannnn

        March 8, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • ralph

      1. not necessarily
      2. often

      March 8, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  23. Brandon

    What doesn't cause cancer these days?

    March 8, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • Angie

      Exactly!!! Personally, I'll keep drinking Coca-Cola until the day I die...If people are not going to die my death, why do they want to live my life??? I love Coca-Cola and if it kills me, how does that affect anybody else??? Geezzzzzzzzz people, get a grip.... =o/

      March 8, 2012 at 1:00 am |
      • Oorah

        "If people are not going to die my death, why do they want to live my life?"
        *thunderous applause*
        How refreshingly profound, Angie. Don't be surprised if you see that statement around here again.

        March 8, 2012 at 7:38 am |
  24. The Lord of Excess

    Holy crap I'm doomed if this is true ... I've been a 3 – 2 liter a day soda drinker for years ... and years ... ieeeeeeeeeeeeee! I don't smoke or drink booze though so I guess we all have our life risks ... but for me I have been wanting to quit soda for a more pressing reason and that is I have heard from several sources now that diet soda in particular inhibits ones ability to lose weight. I want to drop 20 pounds. So I'll use the cancer fear to help motivate me to stop soda ... who cares if it really is justifiable or not :)

    March 8, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • mike

      Dont worry, you will get a heart attack before get cancer if you still drinking that much of cola

      March 8, 2012 at 12:25 am |
      • Edwin

        Diabetes is more likely than heart disease.

        March 8, 2012 at 12:30 am |
      • ralph

        Absolutely zero data linking diet soda to heart attacks.

        March 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
        • Marty

          How about diet coke to IQ's?

          March 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  25. Jesus

    Pepsi for the win!

    March 7, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • gg

      I would be more worried with aspartame, as it becomes formaldehyde in the brain. I am sure many did not know that...

      March 8, 2012 at 12:11 am |
      • bigboxes

        You do realize that's more of the same unfounded garbage that you just read about. If you don't like soda don't drink it. Don't drag us normal people into your phobias. Why don't you go wash your hands a few more times.

        March 8, 2012 at 12:53 am |
      • SixDegrees

        Uh – no, it doesn't. Urban legend, that.

        March 8, 2012 at 10:53 am |
        • jj

          Well, the acid in aspartame hurts the stomach. I can attest to that.

          March 8, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
        • Ooorah

          jj, you can attest to it in your stomach only. Different people have different reactions to many things. I've been drinking diet colas for decades and haven't had the first problem with my stomach.

          March 9, 2012 at 7:12 am |
  26. danf

    I'm going to quit eating and drinking all together

    March 7, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • thanks danf

      best comment ever!

      March 8, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • Nikki

      Yeah, you can do that – just not for very long!

      March 8, 2012 at 11:17 am |
      • lewax00

        Long enough to not die of cancer!

        March 8, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Joe T.

      That is one way to beat cancer.

      March 8, 2012 at 11:59 am |
      • American Cancer Society

        No, it's not.

        March 8, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  27. lakeside2

    What a waste: they spent who knows how many millions testing mice and rats to 'prove' that if you drink 1,000 sodas a day, you MIGHT be at risk for cancer. Ridiculous. . . I love soda and although I did switch to the diet stuff for weight reasons, I have no plans to ever STOP drinking it because of such silly claims. I think most of us realize that while it's definitely not the healthiest thing to drink, it's certainly not as detrimental as they would have most of us believe. If you are worried about calories or what it might do to your teeth, then switch to diet soda and brush your teeth more often.

    March 7, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • The Flamingo Kid

      You are a moron. You do not have to drink 1000 sodas a day to develop cancer from this carcinogenic cocktail. When you are dying in a hospice of cancer from your poor lifestyle choices you will wish you had made some changes and had stopped drinking pure chemicals.

      March 7, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • There. Are. No. Gods!

      I am sure you would know better than some stupid scientist! Keep on with that idea, I am sure it will work out great for you!

      March 8, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • nono

      Thank goodness for science, otherwise we would only have to deal with self-proclaimed know-it-alls that give terrible advice like yourself. Your solution is to switch over to another beverage loaded with artificial sweeteners that have their own set of health risks and to brush one's teeth more often. Do you understand that the acidic nature of soda is what weakens the enamel and brushing your teeth immediately after might actually contribute to enamel wear? Why am I even bothering...just stay in your bubble and let the scientists do the science thing.

      March 8, 2012 at 12:42 am |
    • Oorah@lakeside2

      Ignore these naysayers. They just finished their remedial reading comprehension class and didn't understand that content either.

      March 8, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • KJC

      Ok people, if you read the article, you would know it was the SCIENTIST in the article that said the 1000-sodas comment originally...

      March 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  28. John

    I don't drink soda or eat any process food anymore, and I feel a lot more alive.

    March 7, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • joey

      What do you eat to stay healthy John?

      March 7, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
      • John

        I eat my own P o o, and drink my dogs W e e! It is healthy and nutritious!

        March 8, 2012 at 12:05 am |
        • M-Theory

 know you like p o o too.

          And I think you guys are in cahoots!

          March 8, 2012 at 12:57 am |
  29. mfx3

    LOL it's funny that the Cola industry has an opinion on whether cola causes cancer. It's like those 50 studies the tobacco industry always cites as evidence that smoking doesn't lead to which case all 50 studies were sponsored, funded, conducted, and edited by the tobacco companies. Funny stuff.

    March 7, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
  30. Denverdriver

    Did anyone ever really think that cola drinks are a FOOD?

    March 7, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
  31. Wolf Daddy Deluxe 5000

    WTF!!! i drink coke all the time! they dont warn me that it causes cancer! if i get cancer i am going to sue the pants off them! if it causes cancer i dont want to drink it!

    March 7, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • mick

      And, you had no idea the entirely man made, unnatural chemical drink (ever see those ingredients) was bad for your health until today?

      March 8, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • ralph

      Even if you get cancer, you'll never know if the soda caused it. Not an intelligent stance to take here.

      March 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  32. Arnold

    I'll admit I drink alot of soda...I have had the soda craving for over 30 years and currently drink about 4-5 12oz cans a day. I have had no teeth issues, no kidney issues, no blood-sugar problems and no weight problems (I meet current Army heigh/weight standards)... maybe soda doesn't affect everyone the same way.

    March 7, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • D

      I drink a lot of soda as well and have a sixpack. The key is to simply burn more calories than you take it. The problem in unless you drink diet, you get a good 200 calories from a 12 oz bottle. That equates to half a meal alone.

      March 7, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • McKenzzie

      ***Hmmm not sure if Arnold Schwarzenegger or just regular douche named Arnold****

      March 7, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Wolf Daddy Deluxe 5000

      its totally addicting! we should sue them! i dont want to get cancer! and they dont warn you that it is addicting

      March 7, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • John

      Soda is only addicting because they have caffeine in them...

      March 7, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • mike

      Call me when you get 50

      March 8, 2012 at 12:28 am |
  33. D

    newsflash: EVERYTHING causes cancer

    March 7, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • gopert aman

      EVERYTHING doesn't cause cancer…..maybe everything YOU eat.

      March 7, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • Jake

      lol, no... just everything in California... lol

      March 7, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
  34. sparknut

    Just one more reason to avoid drinking colas... But what about other stuff that contains caramel color? It's in all kinds of foods.

    March 7, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • Oorah

      Did you read the entire article? It's just as harmless in other foods.

      March 8, 2012 at 7:21 am |
  35. Marine5484

    And on this news I will have a Jack&Coke..... and if I die two days earlier because of it so be it.

    March 7, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • That Guy

      A man of my own tastes. *raises glass*

      March 8, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Oorah

      Amen to you both.

      March 8, 2012 at 7:19 am |
  36. sigh

    Yeah, these claims are almost like when people grab studies describing ill effects resulting from fructose dosages about 500 times the average sugar intake in humans and then make the mistake of not only extending this to HFCS (which is about 60-40 fructose to sucrose), but also extending the extremely high dosage to how much sweetener people actually eat. (I'm not saying HFCS is good – it sucks for your health about as much as sugar – but the extrapolation comparison was worth making)

    Anything will be somewhat toxic at a high dosage, and believe it or some "natural" foods are extremely toxic if not prepared correctly. For example, eating just 4 uncooked and soaked kidney beans could make you pretty ill in just a couple of hours. But that doesn't mean that they're not fit for consumption – they just need to be boiled and they are good for consumption.

    When looking at studies evaluating the toxicity of a food or additive, always keep in mind how much is being tested, how much is usually consumed by a normal person, and at what stage in processing the toxicity of a food/additive was tested.

    March 7, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
  37. us1776

    No reason at all for any health concerns.

    And yet millions die every year from cancers.

    The mega-corps keep telling us everything is fine.



    March 7, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Science

      Your body is made up of millions of cells. Each of those cells have DNA that is made up of trillions of bases. Cells have to replicate and divide quadrillions of times in your body without fail. A small mistake here and there in the right area and one cell can become cancer...More simply put, If I asked you to hand copy the same 5 page essay using only your last copy to produce the next for every minute of every hour of every day of the rest of your life, you'd make small mistakes that might eventually change the story.

      March 7, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
      • ralph

        This essay copying analogy is spot on. One of the few intelligent comments on this board.

        March 8, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • sigh

      Well, for one, obesity is a risk factor for cancer and that's on the rise.

      That and we didn't really know what cancer was until less than 150 years ago and advanced technology that detects cancers early and easily is fairly recent, so our stats are pretty skewed.

      March 7, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
      • Science

        Well put, also as we "screen" for cancer we use radiation. So as we have used more PET scans and mammography for breast cancer and the like we have increased radiation exposure in the general population. It's a risk/reward call that we all get to make.

        March 7, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
  38. Charles Widmore

    Buuuuuuuuuurrrrrrppp... ahhhhhh.

    March 7, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  39. Michael

    Beer doesn't have artificial colors or flavors. Just saying.........

    March 7, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • sparknut

      Do you know that for sure? They are not required to post all ingredients. That's why I make my own.

      March 7, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
  40. Dave

    MNC are so big that they hide the contents of products they distribute to people that eventually harm an individual in long term..Why don't we have laws to stop selling food or drinks that are processed ,contains chemicals or that are not natural. Why people are left with very little choice for good and healthy food and so many options for junk food? Why junk food is cheap compared to good healthy food?

    March 7, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • Economics

      Organic, "Natural" food requires much more growing time, labor, fertilizer, pest removal, transport, and zoning issues since we would have to have farms in every town to produce the "fresh" items. And even if we did that we still wouldn't be able to maintain the population of the earth as the yields are simply too low (Malthusian Doom). Comparative advantages allow us to be able to get lettuce in the middle of winter.

      March 7, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  41. Margeau

    A friend of mine had some issues with his kidneys and was told that he could not have any colas because of the ingredients. He could have other kinds of sodas, but the dark ones were not good. I really don't think any are probably good, but like anything, some may be "less" of a problem.

    March 7, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • That Guy

      Same here as well. I had a buddy who was prone to kidney stones, and he was told the same thing. The only soda he can drink is stuff like Sierra Mist, Sprite, 7-Up, etc... I also have had a kidney stone and at the time I was drinking a LOT of Coke. The Dr. told me pretty much the same thing. I still enjoy a Coke occasionally, but nothing like I used to. Just like anything else in life, moderation is key.

      March 7, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  42. Richard

    Americans wring your hands over food colouring...while you wolf down you 3000 calorie meals.

    March 7, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Adnan

      Bingo. Over consumption of calories is a problem.

      People should happily eat less calories, America throws a fit on high gas prices, yet money is gladly spent on excess calories. Eating the right amount leads to 1) Healthy Weight 2) Money Savings and...more money savings from less health expense.

      March 7, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • That's why you have bad teeth, you know

      Much better than strangling on overdone mutton and mashed up peas, say what old man?

      March 8, 2012 at 12:55 am |
  43. IH8Taliban

    drinking cola does not cause cancer; however, being fat and unhealthy from drinking too much of it does.

    March 7, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • me

      exactly, and that kills worst, the suffering is longer too

      March 8, 2012 at 1:35 am |
  44. Geoffrey Hamilton

    I can tell you from personal experience that drinking soda can cause life-long problems with acid reflux and GERT, I quit soda 7 years ago and I never felt better, but I still have acid reflux issues from it eating my stomach lining.

    March 7, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • ralph

      It's actually GERD, not GERT. How do you know it was the soda that caused it? Did you repeat your life in an identical fashion, this time omitting the soda, and not develop GERD?

      March 8, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  45. aa

    It's the heaping amounts of sugar that's bad for you, not the coloring.

    March 7, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
  46. Rob

    The sun causes cancer are we to stop going out into the day light. We can not live in fear our none of us will have a life.

    March 7, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Chris M

      Rob, it is not about not having a life, it is about having a long and healthy life. By comparing it to going into the sun is just clouding the issue – it is the same as comparing the issue of dying from smoking to not leaving your house because you may be hit by a bus. This article was written to open the eyes of the public to the possible problems surrounding the carmel colouring in colas. But the size of Coke and Pepsi, and the size of their lobbyists in America will force these types of stories to be hidden and squashed. Good on CNN for having the guts to put it up.

      March 7, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
      • Rob

        It's not about having a life it is about having a long and healthy life. So you add two more words than I did and now what? You can live a healthy and still not live a long one. Most who live to old age do so based on genetics. Besides that's one way to look on life. It's not the only way of looking. But a lot of things besides soda causes cancer. Was my point about the sun causing cancer. The idea of the article is to influence people to stop drinking it. Well you think Coca Cola cares? No take a look at their products just cause you don't drink coke our sprite. Does not mean you don't give them money. Or Pepsi for that matter.
        Heck a soda company could have approved all this and funded this research.

        March 8, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • Ron.

      The ignorance here is mind boggling. The sun does not case cancer. The sun helps to fight cancer. What causes skin cancer is a lack of nutrition. Not the fault of the sun itself. My God man all I see here is so much ignorance. Like the fellow who thinks that just because something is peer reviewed that it is infallible. Wake up man before it's too late. The establishment work to poison us on a regular basis as part of their eugenics obsession. The government is not their to serve you but to oppress you. The rise of cancer is an engineered phenomenon. Therefore of course they sell us things which cause cancer -it's part of their religion of control.

      March 8, 2012 at 3:14 am |
      • ralph

        There are no good quality data linking nutrition to skin cancer.

        March 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  47. Learn the Truth

    It's not the caramel coloring people should be worried about in Cola, it's the ridiculous amounts of Phosphoric Acid found in Coke that is the real problem! Coca-Cola lobbyists tried to cover up the effects of Phosphoric Acid by using tests that were done on PHOSPHORUS (completely different then Phosphoric Acid) as a means of saying it's harmless, but the truth is it deteriorates bones and causes cancer!

    March 7, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Learn the Truth

      Not to mention that Coca-Cola is flat out disgusting and only gets by on it's brand name! It's not worth getting cancer in your 50s over!

      March 7, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
      • Nikki

        No, it doesn't 'get by'. Now to me, it's Pepsi that's disgusting. I can even tell Coke from Pepsi by the smell.
        Everyone can tout how good liver is for you, but to me that nasty stuff even isn't food. Don't want to look at it, touch it, smell it, cook it, and heaven forbid I have to eat that $%^&. Yuck, yuck, yuck. Butterscotch and licorice isn't far behind liver either.

        March 8, 2012 at 11:13 am |
        • ralph

          Actually, not everyone can. Liver is a fatty meat and not that good for you.

          March 8, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • popejon

      Truth is you don't quite have the whole story. Your body has a natural balance of phosphoric acid and calcium. When you increase the phosphoric acid level without adding calcium to your diet, your body takes calcium from your bones to balance out the extra phosphoric acid. The truth is the sugar will kill you long before the phosphoric acid will if you sit on your rear all day long like most Americans do....

      As far as taste, like all foods, its subjective to your own personal taste. Name brand is not enough to carry any product. Coke is not your only choice at the store... I hate everything about salmon but yet they still sell it at the store. Go figure...

      March 8, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • Nikki

      I'm a 59 – 60 year Coke drinker, never had cancer and my bones (according to the doctor who ran a test on them), were that of a 25 year old.

      March 8, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  48. harleydavidson

    the tobacco industry at one time denied and hid the fact that nicotine is addictive.

    March 7, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  49. Markus Bell

    Pretty sure life itself causes cancer.

    Stop worrying how it ends and enjoy the trip.

    March 7, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Edwin

      Eventually we all WILL die of something. But that doesn't mean we should ignore high risk behaviors, like walking blindfolded on a freeway, or setting fire to our own clothes to keep warm, or drinking things we know will hasten our death...

      March 8, 2012 at 12:33 am |
      • SilentBoy741

        And don't forget the study in 2008 by dyslexic scientists, showing that consuming lab rats with cancer caused diet soda.

        March 8, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • Ron.

      More damned ignorance. Life does not cause cancer. Carcinogens in our produce & water causes cancer.

      March 8, 2012 at 3:07 am |
      • ralph

        Carcinogens cause cancer? I wonder why more people don't know about this. But this is solid advice - cut down on water and produce to avoid cancer.

        March 8, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  50. Ben

    Ask the cheese board in Wisconson if cheese is bad for you.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Veritas

      I prefer to base my opinions on science rather than ideology, Ben. Let me guess, you also think artificial sweeteners cause cancer and that flouride in the water is a communist plot, right? In the end, science trumps all. If the research is peer-reviewed, done properly, and says it doesn't cause cancer in humans, then it doesn't cause cancer in humans.

      That's the sad thing about people like you; when you're desperate to deny scientific truths that fly in the face of your beliefs, you eventually become desperate and say "Well, who FUNDED the study? HUH???" News flash, from someone who does research for a living: IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO FUNDS RESEARCH. If the research is done right and the papers that are submitted after are PEER REVIEWED (which they always are), then any errors or "tinkering" done by some middleman are nearly always uncovered by the dozens of scientists in dozens of countries who then repeat the experiments in their own labs. Unless you believe scientists all over the world are in the pocket of the corporations? Give me a break!

      March 8, 2012 at 12:56 am |
      • Ron.

        Fluoride was used in the Nazi concentration camps to make the prisoners docile & not want to resist.

        March 8, 2012 at 3:06 am |
        • rtbrno65

          Really? I thought it was the armed guards and the dogs and the electric fences. Thanks for clarifying that for me.

          March 9, 2012 at 11:18 am |
      • Kitmao

        I think his point is, the coke people are going to, of course, deny anything could be wrong with their product even if something is wrong with it. I think you're reading WAAAYYY into this.
        Also, I'd like to point your attention to the study that showed a link between autism and vaccines. Not sure if you heard of it, but it was done by a scientist who fudged the results to get the answer he wanted. Oh, and that isn't the only time that's happened. Nothing is truly without flaws.

        March 8, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
1 2
| Part of