Thursday, April 06, 2006

Killer Cola

This story surfaced last week and I, who recently became a fan of Diet Pepsi w/lime swore off carbonated soft drinks for good. This one is a no brainer. Do you really trust the government to set what levels of ANY chemical are safe to put in your body? This story came from today's Boston Globe. As the headline says the benzene levels ARE above the safe limits. Last week, the FDA was vehemently denying that they are. And if this isn't enough to send you running to the nearest tofu farm, last week I saw "Supersize Me." I must be the only person on the planet who hasn't seen it. I am not easily scared but this was scary. If you haven't seen it and ur still eating fast food, see it before you eat another french fry. The guy who made it, tried an experiment and ate nothing but Mickey D's for a month while having his health monitored. Not only did he gain over 20 pounds (in a month) but shot up his cholesterol and almost gave himself cirrosis of the liver. EGADS! I don't eat fast food and now I know I will neva be tempted.

Benzene levels in soft drinks above limit
By Libby Quaid, AP Food And Farm Writer April 5, 2006
WASHINGTON --Cancer-causing benzene has been found in soft drinks at levels above the limit considered safe for drinking water, the Food and Drug Administration acknowledged Wednesday.
Even so, the FDA still believes there are no safety concerns about benzene in soft drinks, or sodas, said Laura Tarantino, the agency's director of food additive safety.
"We haven't changed our view that right now, there is not a safety concern, not a public health concern," she said. "But what we need to do is understand how benzene forms and to ensure the industry is doing everything to avoid those circumstances."
The admission contradicted statements last week, when officials said FDA found insignificant levels of benzene.
In fact, a different study found benzene at four times the tap water limit, on average, in 19 of 24 samples of diet soda.
Tarantino said chemists may have overestimated the amount of benzene and that levels in diet soda were still relatively low compared with other sources of benzene exposure.
The samples were collected as part of the FDA's ongoing Total Diet Study, which looks for contaminants and nutrients in many foods and beverages.
FDA has been doing a separate study of benzene in soft drinks, but it is not ready to release the results, Tarantino said.
The Environmental Working Group has accused the FDA of suppressing information about benzene in soft drinks.
"If they're so confident the situation is not a safety risk, they need to release the data to prove it," said Richard Wiles, the group's senior vice president. "The only data available to the public contradict their claim."
Benzene, a cancer-causing chemical linked to leukemia, can form naturally and is found in forest fires, gasoline and cigarette smoke. It's widely used in industrial production to make plastics, rubber, detergents, drugs and pesticides.
Benzene can also form in soft drinks made with Vitamin C and sodium or potassium benzoate. Heat, light and shelf life can affect whether benzene will form, according to FDA.
A spokesman for the American Beverage Association said the amount of soft drinks people consume is far less than the amount of tap water they are exposed to.
"You can crunch the numbers any way you want; it's still adding up to safe products," said the spokesman, Kevin Keane. "We're going to continue to work with FDA to ensure the safety of our products."
On the Net:
Food and Drug Administration:
Environmental Working Group:
American Beverage Association:


At 4:54 PM , Blogger garridogal said...

I'm so glad I never drink soda....

At 2:44 PM , Blogger barbie said...

true dat! but i got to looking at labels and found that killer combination in other types of drinks on the market as well and they're not saying anything about that....i bought lemons and bottled water to make lemonade. no more prepackaged stuff for me.


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