In recent days the world heard about 4 methylimidazole, the substance for which Coca-Cola and Pepsi said that they would change the formula of production.
However, scientists are familiar with this substance from a long time ago:
- In 1956 has been proven that animals exposed to high doses of 4 methylimidazole receive seizures, agitation, foaming from the mouth and paralysis.
- In 1969, 1986 and 1987 other scientific studies have shown the same convulsive activity of 4 methyl imidazole with generalized convulsions of the body.
- In 2006 scientists have been studying the possible mutagenic effects on substance in bacterial species and the experiments gave negative results.
- In 2008, the National Toxicology Program in the USA reported results in which is clearly showed that 4 methylimidazole causes cancer in mice and rats.
Do not expect similar studies that will show carcinogenicity to 4 methylimidazole in people for one simple reason: no one would let such an experiment with a potentially carcinogenic substance because such a study would be unethical!
Why that substance is used? 4 methylimidazole actually gives the “caramel color” of Coca-Cola, Pepsi and other products. There are no nutritional values and it is added only for the color it gives.
At the beginning of the ’90s, Pepsi and Coca-Cola created a colorless “diet” versions of their products, clear and transparent like water, but with the same taste as their drinks. Such products were probably not selling well (“water” with the taste of Coca-Cola or Pepsi), so they were quickly abandoned.
When it comes to toxic substances you are likely to think that there is permissible daily dose so the substance would not have any effect. However, this rule does not apply for carcinogenic substances – for them virtually there is no allowable threshold or theoretically, extremely low doses are set for maximum permitted daily dose.
The permissible daily dose of 4 methylimidazole, according to the state of California, just in ona Coca-Cola or Pepsi is exceeded for 5 times!
However, the state of California is not prohibiting the use of 4 methylimidazole, but obliges the manufacturers to put a sticky label on the packaging with words “The product can cause cancer”.
To avoid this commitment, Coca-Cola and Pepsi will change the formula, but only in California! The companies are planning to change the formula also in other countries in the US for several years, but not in Europe
So people, think well again before you take a refreshing drink!