Quit your whining, Coca-Cola aficionados — the company is not changing its recipe for Coke after a consumer group study claimed the caramel color they use causes cancer. While they’re disputing the study, they are also clarifying that they’re just asking caramel suppliers to modify their processes in making the color.
NPR.org reports on the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s pronouncement that 4-methylimidazole, also known as 4-MI or 4-MEI, is a carcinogen, prompting California to list it as such. The CPSI petitioned the Food and Drug Administration a year ago to ban the compound, and did so again this week.
The FDA isn’t totally onboard with the CPSI, however, saying in a statement that they’re reading the new petition, but that “it is important to understand that a consumer would have to consume well over a thousand cans of soda a day to reach the doses administered in the studies that have shown links to cancer in rodents.”
Coca-Cola stressed the fact to Consumerist that the formula for Coke is not changing, not one little bit, despite reports that they were tweaking it.
Says spokeswoman Diana Garza Ciarlante:
We have directed our caramel suppliers to make the necessary manufacturing process modification to meet the requirement of the State of California’s Prop 65. That process change ensures that no warning label would be required on our products. We firmly believe that there is no public health risk that justifies any such change, but 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.
Now, it’s important to note that while we have asked our caramel suppliers to modify their manufacturing processes, those modifications do not change our product. The caramel color in all of our products has been, is and always will be safe.