Consumer Reports Takes a Stand Against Toxic Food Additives

Kate Vavrousek

It is interesting how the US seems to regularly be lagging behind other nations in banning hazardous or potentially hazardous materials from our foods, like BVO. We were also one of the later nations to have any sort of ban on BPA or even have a large scale awareness that BPA is extremely dangerous.

Another potentially dangerous chemical in our foods that is just now beginning to attract attention from consumers is caramel color. This chemical food additive is in so many different types of foods. (It’s even in the Trader Joe’s salad dressing I’m eating right now…) But most commonly, caramel color is found in cola sodas. So if you’re a cola drinker, you may want to read up on the effects caramel color may be having on your body.

Consumer Reports has called for government intervention in limiting the amount of caramel color present in food and drinks. In 2012, the Center for Science in the Public Interest issued a report stating that approximately 15,000 cancers could be caused by the levels of caramel color currently found in drinks. “Coke and Pepsi, with the acquiescence of the FDA, are needlessly exposing millions of Americans to a chemical that causes cancer,” CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson asserted in a written statement. 

In an article from CBS News, toxicologist Dr. Urvashi Rangan, executive director of Consumer Reports’ Food Safety & Sustainability Center, stated: “There’s no reason why consumers should be exposed to an avoidable and unnecessary risk that can stem from coloring food brown.”


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