US group flags chemical levels in Coke sold abroad

By REUTERS
June 27, 2012 00:40

 
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Coca-Cola Co's namesake soda sold in several countries, including Brazil and Kenya, still contains a high level of a chemical linked to cancer in animals months after it made changes to the drinks sold in California, a US watchdog group said on Tuesday.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest said that samples of Coca-Cola tested in nine countries showed "alarming amounts" of the chemical 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MI, used as an ingredient in caramel coloring. High levels of that chemical have been linked to cancer in animals.

In March, both Coca-Cola and rival PepsiCo Inc said that they had asked suppliers of the caramel coloring to alter their manufacturing process to meet the requirements of a California ballot initiative aiming to limit people's exposure to toxic chemicals.

Coca-Cola said at the time that it would start in California and expand the use of the reduced 4-MI caramel coloring over time. It did not specify a timetable.

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