Caramel Colour is safe and harmless
Caramel colour has undergone complete food safety testing more than 20 times in the past 35 years. It meets rigorous food safety standards around the world. There has never been a study that showed any health risk from caramel colour. In 2011 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other food authorities reaffirmed that caramel colour is a safe colour additive.
The State of California has decided to include 4-MeI on its Proposition 65 list of possible carcinogens due to an initial concern with the high levels used in industrial products/processes. As a result even the trace amounts of 4-Mei found in some soft drinks, soups, gravies, sauces and baked goods will need to carry a warning label claiming that it is a possible carcinogen.
The decision defies common sense and good science. Learn the truth about caramel colour.
4-MeI is formed naturally in the process of cooking, roasting, broiling or grilling food of every sort — chicken, beef, vegetables, other meats, and even coffee beans. Creating some caramel colours, a common ingredient produced by cooking sugar or corn syrup, can also produce extremely low levels of 4-Mei. Trace 4-Mei (which CSPI incorrectly refers to as 4-MI) is found in hundreds of home-cooked or store-bought foods that people have been consuming for generations. It is not an additive.
California’s decision, which was made by a regulatory agency without any public hearing or review of other research, was based on two inconclusive and contradictory studies — one study in rats, after they were fed large amounts of 4-MeI, showed a reduction of tumors and the same study in mice showed an increase in lung tumors. There has never been a study that showed any connection between 4-MeI and cancer in humans.
If you believe what the State of California has recommended, then you will no longer grill on holidays, or enjoy a cup of coffee on a peaceful Sunday morning.