Dr Oz, Caramel Color Ingredient Dangerous? 4-MEI in Soda

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Dr. Oz Talks About Dangerous Food Ingredients – Caramel Color and 4-MEI

Today’s January 24, 2014 Dr. Oz episode began with a segment about dangerous food and beverage ingredients that the food industry doesn’t want you to know about.  Dr. Oz began the show by talking about tow ingredients that families all across the globe should be aware of and how you should avoid buying foods that contain ingredients like Caramel Color and 4-MEI

How Safe (or Unsafe) Is Caramel Color?

caramel color ingredient

Dr. Oz talks about caramel color and 4-MEI and how this ingredient can increase your risk for cancer.

Caramel color is an ingredient used in many foods that increases your risk of getting cancer!  Caramel color is often used in soda’s to give it that dark color. Did you know that it is also used in many types of breads and other products that typical families put into their shopping carts every single week?  There are many people who are alarmed about the dangers of caramel color and would like to have warning labels put on foods that contain caramel color!

Dr. Oz invited Dr. Uryashi Rangan on to the show to share his knowledge about this dangerous ingredient.  Dr. Rangan said what concerns him is the increased risk of cancer that caramel color may be imposing.  Dr. Rangan said that it increases your risk because there is a chemical that is produced in caramel coloring when it is produced at high temperatures and how it interacts with other ingredients in the food or beverage.  In the state of California, they have required products that contain caramel color to have a warning label on the packaging.

4-MEI Dangerous Ingredient In Soda

Dr. Ranger said that her team from Consumer Reports tested 12 brands of soda that contain caramel color from different locations throughout the country to test of levels of 4-MEI.  To varying degrees they found 4-MEI in each one of them.  Here are some of the results to their investigation that they shared on today’s Dr. Oz :

  • The safety level for 4-MEI is 39 micrograms.  Malta Goya (a soft drink) contained the highest levels of 4-MEI.  They found a whopping 350 micrograms of 4-MEI in each bottle.
  • Pepsi one contained 43 micrograms
  • Pepsi and Diet pepsi  came in at just below the “safe” level of 29 micrograms.  Remember this is for each bottle.  If your drinking more than one bottle you are going over what is considered to be “safe”.
  • The other brands were below the 29 microgram threshold. Coca Cola was one of the lowest at only 5 micrograms per serving.

Dr. Rangan said that test results varied in different states around the country.  She said that 4-MEI was higher in New York for instance when they tested sodas the first time.  They rechecked again and the levels of 4-MEI were lower so it’s hard to gauge if the soda you may be drinking has exceedingly high levels of 4-MEI or not.

Consumer Reports Asking FDA To Make A Change on Way They Label Products

Dr. Rangan said that Consumer Reports is pushing to have the FDA set a limit for 4-MEI and to have food manufacturers disclose that this chemical is in their products. They are also trying to have dangerous ingredients to be excluded from products that say “All Natural”.  She said that Dr. Snap (for example) says “All Natural” yet it contains caramel color which is an artificial ingredient, and a dangerous one at that!Foods That Contain Caramel ColorDr. Oz said that caramel color is in many more food products than just soda pop.  Dr. Oz said that caramel color is also in foods like :

  • Dark colored bread
  • Dark gravies
  • Imitation syrups

Dr. Oz said that caramel color is an ingredient that has been shown to cause cancer.  He was upset that it is still allowed in our food supply despite what the studies have shown.  The FDA  doesn’t believe that there is an immediate risk.  Dr. Rangan said that coloring a food brown is not worth the risk of increase your risk of getting cancer!

What do you think about this issue?

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