Defence: Bot Coca-Cola and Pepsi insisted their products were completely safe
The world is addicted to Coca-Cola. Each day, 1.6 billion cans and bottles of the sickly brown liquid are gulped down, making it the globe’s most recognised brand.
But ever since it was first concocted as a brain tonic in 1886 (designed to treat ‘sick headaches, neuralgia, hysteria and melancholy’), the makers of Coca-Cola have been secretive about what goes into their drink.
American pharmacist and Coke founder Asa Chandler was so concerned that the recipe could fall into the wrong hands he reportedly never wrote it down.
That secrecy lives on today. Coca-Cola insists only two people alive know the formula, that they never travel on the same plane in case it crashes and that the list of ingredients is locked in a bank vault.
But while the recipe for Coke is surrounded by the kind of mystique that marketing men dream of, the company found its formula under less welcome scrutiny this week.
For it has emerged that Coca-Cola in the U.S. has reduced levels of one of its ingredients following fears that it could cause cancer.
The chemical — 4-methylimidazole (4-MI) — helps to give the drink its colour, but is listed by Californian health officials as a potential carcinogen.
While European regulators do not believe it poses any health risks, the company has also pledged to reduce its levels in Coke sold in Britain and the rest of the world, although it hasn’t given a timescale.
Pepsi, meanwhile, has reduced the chemical in its American formula, but refused to change it anywhere else — meaning if the Californian health officials are right, the Pepsi sold in Britain and most of the rest of the world is potentially more carcinogenic than the stuff swigged in America.
Coca-Cola and Pepsi this week insisted that all of their beverages are completely safe, with Coca-Cola claiming it made the change in the U.S. only in response to a ‘scientifically unfounded’ food law in California.
COLOURING LINKED TO CANCER
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2166193/Coca-Cola-cancer-chemical-scare-How-safe-Coke.html#ixzz1zCUv7MUL