Does Pepsi Contain Carcinogens?

Well, this certainly doesn't make us crave a Pepsi: new claims from an environmental group say that Pepsi products contain high levels of a known carcinogen. 

The Associated Press reports that the problem stems from a recent Californian law passed, which stated that drink products containing known carcinogens must come with a cancer warning label. The known carcinogen in qestion in Pepsi's products? 4-methylimidazole, or 4-Mel, found in its caramel coloring. The test, from the Center for Environmental Health, found that while Pepsis bought in California no longer contain 4-Mel, Pepsi products bought across the country contain levels of 4-Mel four to eight times higher than Californian safety standards. Uh, yikes. 

PepsiCo has said that it will change its formula in all its drinks across the country by 2014, and that the company is changing its manufacturing process. Meanwhlie, its competitor, Coca-Cola, has already changed its formula for drinks across the country; the test results found no trace levels of 4-Mel in any of its products. 

Both PepsiCo and the American Beverage Association (the ABA) responded to the newest claims. PepsiCo said that the levels of 4-Mel found in its products have been deemed safe by the FDA. The ABA said that there's been no direct link found between 4-Mel and cancer, and that in order to get cancer, a person would have to drink 1,000 sodas a day to reach the noted amount found in studies linking carcinogens to cancer in rats. Either way, we'll stick to water.