Kalifornistan strikes again – Achievement unlocked: Science Fail

No, not some new anti-gun law this time. This time, they’ve passed a law that is forcing both Coke and Pepsi to change their recipes to avoid having to put a carcinogen warning label on the cans.

Coca Cola and Pepsi will make a manufacturing process modification for the soft drinks caramel colouring to avoid a California law that would have forced them to label the drinks carcinogenic.

Coke, for one, insists it is not “changing our recipe or formula in any way.”

“The Coca-Cola Company asked its caramel suppliers to make the necessary manufacturing process modification to meet the requirement of the State of California’s Prop 65,” company spokesman Ben Sheidler said in a release. “As a result, no warning is required.”

So, where did this come from?

An American watchdog group accuses the world’s two biggest beverage makers of using unsafe levels of a chemical called 4-MEI they say has been linked to cancer in animals. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban the colouring agents that contain 4-MEI.

Well, if that’s the case, why hasn’t the FDA banned it? Carcinogens are bad, right?

“A consumer would have to consume well over a thousand cans of soda a day to reach the doses administered in the studies that have shown links to cancer in rodents,” FDA spokesman Doug Karas said in a statement.

Over 1,000 cans a day. If my math is right, that means you would have to drink one can every 86 seconds, for 24 hours straight, to reach the levels in the studies. Fail.

If your hypothesis can only be verified by using an unrealistic premise, then it is wrong. Yes, 4-MEI can in fact be linked to cancer. But the dosages where that link exists are only realistically achievable in either an industrial accident directly involving the undiluted chemical, or in a laboratory setting. The follow-up hypothesis, that since Coke and Pepsi contain 4-MEI they can cause cancer, can easily be falsified with basic math and critical thinking.

Heck, drinking that much that fast could conceivably kill you from hyperglycemia as you outrun your body’s ability to produce insulin and your cells’ ability to take up the sugar. Either way, you’d be dead from obesity induced diabetes long before you have to worry about cancer.

Government stupidity from the nanny state, in its finest form.


[Source: Edmonton Sun article, retrieved 3/9/12]


Leave a comment


  1. Reminds me of the dihydrogen monoxide scare…

  2. I’m not sure, but if you drink that much water, you could die of intoxication. (Yes, in large enough quantities, anything is toxic.)

    Maybe they should outlaw water.


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