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Coca-Cola and Pepsi Change Recipe To Avoid Cancer Warning 398

jones_supa writes "California has added 4-methylimidazole (a caramel coloring) to the list of carcinogenic compounds that require an explicit warning when added to foodstuffs. Incidentally, this has entailed the big two cola producers to modify their recipe to decrease the amount of the substance — just enough to avoid the warning. The change to the recipe has already been introduced in California but will be rolled out across the U.S. to streamline manufacturing. The American Beverage Association noted that there is not enough evidence to show the coloring to cause cancer in humans."
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Coca-Cola and Pepsi Change Recipe To Avoid Cancer Warning

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  • Re:California (Score:5, Insightful)

    by A10Mechanic ( 1056868 ) on Friday March 09, 2012 @05:21PM (#39305757)
    How do we know that California doesn't cause cancer? How can we be sure? Is there a proximity? Do people in Nevada get some sort of horrible sickness?
  • Re:California (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oracleguy01 ( 1381327 ) on Friday March 09, 2012 @05:21PM (#39305761)

    Except the TSA body scanners... those are very safe. Unlike the food coloring in cola that is cancer in a bottle.

  • by VernorVinge ( 1420843 ) on Friday March 09, 2012 @05:22PM (#39305789)
    The same 1000 cans argument can be made for aspartame as a sweetner, tail pipe exhaust, and smoking crack. What if you're that one person with a a genetic predisposition to get cancer from this substance? We should be doing what the EU has done for years- make manufacturers prove substances are safe for consumption before including them as ingredients.
  • by uberjack ( 1311219 ) on Friday March 09, 2012 @05:23PM (#39305809)
    Yeah, stupid California. If only more states allowed public smoking and DDT use.
  • by doston ( 2372830 ) on Friday March 09, 2012 @05:29PM (#39305925)
    Now all Coke/Pepsi has to do is remove the toxic sugar [] and it'll be perfect. ;-)
  • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Friday March 09, 2012 @05:40PM (#39306113) Homepage Journal

    If only more states allowed public smoking

    Thankfully, most states still do....

    And they should, it is a perfectly legal activity....

  • Re:California (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Intropy ( 2009018 ) on Friday March 09, 2012 @06:21PM (#39306605)

    There you go assuming that the labels are accurate in a practical sense. The joke is that California requires that warning on many so many chemicals with so tenuous a connection to cancer that it's basically impossible to use as an actual warning. That problem is exacerbated by the potential lawsuits when not issueing the warning, the fact that there's no exposure/penalty for warning unnecessarily, and the lack of specificity you noted. The net effect is that if you see such a notice you can rest assured that some chemical compound nearby that you may or may not actually be exposed to might possibly have some connection to cancer at some concentration that may or not actually be present... or someone just wants to cover his ass and not get sued. Not a lot of information content.

  • Re:California (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Friday March 09, 2012 @06:53PM (#39306947) Journal

    Why does the land of fruits and nuts get to dictate what's in our Cokes? and what ever happened to personal responsibility? why must we baby proof the world? hell living causes cancer, we gonna stick warnings on babies next? Oh and before anybody says its because of the rising cost of healthcare (while ignoring the average 3000% profits the drug companies are making is what's causing the incredible explosion of cost) let me retort with this modest proposal: I'll be happy to sign an iron clad wavier that says if i get cancer the ONLY thing I'll get is plain old morphine (which is cheap) and in return you remove ALL TAXES and hand me a get out of jail free card which covers pretty much any sin law, so no more taxes on cigarettes and beer, no more throwing me in jail if I want to smoke a joint, deal? watch how quick your weaselly congress critters balk at that proposal, why? because all those taxes are going to pretty much anything BUT healthcare, its just another way they can raise taxes without the masses balking. Hell mine spent the cigarette taxes on a trauma center when there wasn't a damned thing wrong with the one we had, why? "Because the state next door had a nicer one that we did", yeah like smokers are constantly rushed to trauma centers and we are all four years old, God forbid someone has something nicer than us!

    basically the whole thing stinks. no matter how much you dumb down the planet all you are gonna get is bigger dipshits. if you give ANYTHING in massive doses to mice its gonna kill them, hell even water. Maybe we should put a warning label about water too, along with a giant arrow that shows the idiots which end of the bottle the liquid comes out of, geez.

  • Re:California (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stuffeh ( 1108283 ) on Friday March 09, 2012 @06:59PM (#39307003)
    "not a single Californian on the I-15 had their headlights turned on"

    I call BS. There's an effective law which requires everyone to have their lights on whenever it rains. But the 15 *is* socal so when it rains there, no one knows knows what to do. Are you sure it wasn't just a little drizzle? If it was, then you need to get your windshield cleaned and wipers replaced.
  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Friday March 09, 2012 @07:05PM (#39307065) Journal

    Lets use a different water based argument shall we? 20 liters of pure water, if ingested in 10 minutes, will cause water intoxication, However, no doctor in their right mind would suggest that 1000 people each consuming 1/1000th of 20 liters in 10 minutes would result in 1 person suffering water intoxication just because of their consumption.

    This is irrelevant because carcinogenesis is completely unlike water intoxication. Let me say this again, carcinogenesis is a stochastic process. If that's too hard for you, I'll rephrase it. Carcinogenesis is a random process.

    It's like playing the lottery. If you buy 1000 tickets, you have X chance of winning. If 1000 people each buy 1 ticket, that group of 1000 has the same chance of containing a winner.

    Does that make sense to you now? I'll go a little further.

    In order for a carcinogen to damage DNA, that carcinogen has to come in contact with your DNA. The probability of two molecular species interacting is directly proportional to their concentration. Lowering the concentration of that carcinogen lowers the probability of that interaction, but as long as the concentration is non-zero, the probability of DNA damage is also going to be non-zero.

    Now, that doesn't mean that every carcinogen is going to behave this way. Some carcinogens are metabolized by the body, which will lead to non-linear results. But as a first approximation, the low dose linear model is the standard for risk assessment. If you propose that there is a threshold effect, then it's up to you to demonstrate that it exists.

  • Re:California (Score:4, Insightful)

    by demonlapin ( 527802 ) on Friday March 09, 2012 @07:22PM (#39307179) Homepage Journal
    The Latin plural would be vira (according to Wikipedia; other possibilities would be viri if interpreted as a second-declension masculine noun, or virus if a fourth-declension masculine, or virua if fourth-declension neuter) or (running through the same possibilities as above) Pria, Prii (two i's only), Prius, Priua. Priii is never right.
  • Re:California (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brainboyz ( 114458 ) on Friday March 09, 2012 @07:31PM (#39307243) Homepage

    Because CA has gotten to the point where they label anything that might conceivably cause cancer in doses 1000s of times higher than anyone would normally be exposed to. Yes, we know, everything causes cancer in high doses.

    Hell, fast food joints have Prop-65 warnings because cooking potatoes and coffee causes a trace amount of some chemical to form in certain circumstances, which causes cancer in high doses. Yes, they have reason to be dismissive and laugh because reason has left the building.

Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it. -- William Buckley