Caramel Coloring Scare Contained, CSPI Fear Mongers Still At Large

There's some good news for soda drinkers who were scared silly in recent weeks by a renowned "showman" promoting one of his fanatical organization's best sellers—fear of cancer. A European health agency has determined that "caramel coloring" in soda poses no credible threat to human health.

Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) Executive Director Michael Jacobson warned last month that caramel coloring is an "innocent-sounding ingredient" containing "chemicals that cause cancer in animals [that] have no place in the food supply." As we've noted since CSPI began promoting this cancer scare on Feb. 16, you'd actually have to drink 1,000 sodas a day to ingest the levels that caused cancer in lab rats.

Yesterday, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) announced that it had reviewed historic risk assessments of food additives previously approved for consumption in the European Union, and re-affirmed that the chemicals contained in caramel color still pose no adverse health risks to humans:

Based on all available data, the Panel concluded that these caramel colours are neither genotoxic, nor carcinogenic and that there is no evidence to show that they have any adverse effects on human reproduction or for the developing child.

There's good reason why health-conscious American consumers should pay attention to EFSA's finding: Unlike the lawsuit-happy, agenda-driven food nags at CSPI, EFSA was established by a multinational government body that actively sought "an independent source of scientific advice and communication on risks associated with the food chain."

Food Navigator notes that the EFSA opinion "comes on the heels" of CSPI's Feb. 16 petition asking the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to eliminate "dangerous caramel coloring" from the marketplace. Perhaps that's the real message here: Europe is telling the United States that it can see through CSPI's charade from more than 4,000 miles away.

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