News 3 Special Report: "The Dark Side of Soda" - WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

Text Description

News 3 Special Report: "The Dark Side of Soda"

Posted: Updated:
If you drink soda, we have some information about a possible health risk you need to know. Recent tests by Consumer Reports show that some soft drinks contain a potential carcinogen—and a couple have relatively high levels. The culprit? A chemical in the coloring that makes the drinks an enticing shade of brown.

Consumer Reports recently tested 110 samples of soft drinks bought in the New York area and in California, including iced tea, root beer, colas, and a non-alcoholic malt drink. The chemical, 4-MeI, which a government study found caused cancer in mice, showed up at varying levels across all brands tested that contained caramel coloring.

Some sodas were actually fairly low in their levels of 4-MeI, whereas some soft drinks were extremely high. The highest levels of 4-MeI that Consumer Reports found were in Malta Goya and in Pepsi One. Goya says it is looking into the matter. PepsiCo says its products sold in California meet that state's regulations for 4-MeI and it is voluntarily applying those same standards to the rest of the country within the next month.

All of the Coca Cola samples had much lower levels of 4-MeI. The limitation in this study is a very small sample size, so Consumer Reports can't really draw conclusions about any one given brand.

However, Consumer Reports says that people should know whether the caramel color they are drinking contains a potential carcinogen. Two types don't, but the label simply says caramel color or artificial color, so you don't know the type you're getting.

Consumers who want to avoid that hazard should avoid caramel color in sodas altogether. Also check the labels on other types of foods, including barbecue sauce, syrups, bread, and beer.

There are currently no federal limits on 4-MeI in food products. Consumer Reports is calling on the Food and Drug Administration to set limits and to require more explicit labeling.

Sarah Panko

Sarah is the anchor/ producer for News Three First Edition at 5/4 central time. She also brings you the latest Consumer Reports on the Nightwatch at 11/10 central. More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Columbus police investigating Adair Ave. shooting

    Columbus police investigating Adair Ave. shooting

    Thursday, April 24 2014 2:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 18:44:53 GMT
    Columbus police responding to calls of a shooting on Adair Avenue, police confirm.
    Columbus police responding to calls of a shooting on Adair Avenue, police confirm.
  • April Mugshots

    April Mugshots

    Thursday, April 10 2014 11:54 AM EDT2014-04-10 15:54:25 GMT

    April arrests made in the Upstate and western North Carolina.

    April arrests made in the Upstate and western North Carolina.

  • Amber Alert canceled after toddler girl found; parents arrested

    Amber Alert went out after sibling was found dead

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:00 AM EDT2014-04-24 11:00:27 GMT
    Photo from WJTVPhoto from WJTV
    An Amber Alert has been canceled after 2-year old Maliah Harris was found safe in Georgia. Her 7-month-old sibling, Alyssa, was found dead and Maliah disappeared from a Mississippi home which prompted authorities to issue the alert. The girls parents, Donald Boyd Harris,34, and Allison Studdard, 31, are now in custody.
    An Amber Alert has been canceled after 2-year old Maliah Harris was found safe in Georgia. Her 7-month-old sibling, Alyssa, was found dead and Maliah disappeared from a Mississippi home which prompted authorities to issue the alert. The girls parents, Donald Boyd Harris,34, and Allison Studdard, 31, are now in custody.
  • Consumer WatchMore>>

  • Mazda recalls 109,000 older SUVs for rust problem

    Mazda recalls 109,000 older SUVs for rust problem

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:51 AM EDT2014-04-18 12:51:06 GMT
    Mazda is recalling 109,000 Tribute SUVs in cold-weather states to fix rusting frame parts.
    Mazda is recalling 109,000 Tribute SUVs in cold-weather states to fix rusting frame parts.
  • Avoid costly financial aid traps

    Avoid costly financial aid traps

    Wednesday, April 9 2014 6:05 PM EDT2014-04-09 22:05:57 GMT
    Time is running out for high school seniors who are planning to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The deadline is June 30th but experts say the earlier you fill it out the better.
    Time is running out for high school seniors who are planning to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The deadline is June 30th but experts say the earlier you fill it out the better.
  • Wiping old electronics clean

    Wiping old electronics clean

    Monday, December 30 2013 6:05 PM EST2013-12-30 23:05:42 GMT
    If you were lucky enough to have gotten a new tablet or laptop for the holidays, you're probably passing your old one on to someone else or sending it off to be recycled. Consumer Reports says before you
    If you were lucky enough to have gotten a new tablet or laptop for the holidays, you're probably passing your old one on to someone else or sending it off to be recycled. Consumer Reports says before you
Powered by WorldNow

1732 Valley View Dr.
Birmingham, AL 35209

Telephone: 205.933.1313
Fax: 205.323.3314
Email: newstips@alabamas13.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.