Coca-Cola and Pepsi are changing their secret formulas in the US to avoid having to display a warning that they contain cancer-causing chemicals.
The state of California now requires that the packaging of food and drink with the additive 4-methylimidazole (4-MI) be clearly labelled with a cancer-warning.
To comply with the new law, which was passed following a campaign by consumer rights groups, the two cola firms are switching the type of caramel they use to give the drinks their distinctive brown colour.Although the change was necessary only in California, both companies will alter their recipes nationally to avoid complicating the manufacturing process.
The companies deny that the additive is cancer forming. Tests have shown that 4-MI can lead to increased tumours in animals, but no reports have been detected in humans.
Reference: The Daily Telegraph, Saturday 10 March 2012.