Soda Companies Settle Benzene Lawsuit

Note from Connie: It’s bad enough that soft drinks contain so much sugar, but for over a year, we’ve been hearing that that some soft drinks contain high levels of the carcinogen benzene. In fact, last year I posted here about this sad development and then again here.

To refresh your memory, the EPA says that acute (short-term) inhalation exposure to benzene could cause "drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, as well as eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritation, and, at high levels, unconsciousness" while chronic (long-term) inhalation exposure" has caused "blood disorders, including reduced numbers of red blood cells and aplastic anemia, in occupational settings." What’s more, experts reported reproductive problems "for women exposed by inhalation to high levels" and an "increased incidence of leukemia (cancer of the tissues that form white blood cells) have been observed in humans occupationally exposed to benzene." Today, blog researcher/writer Jennifer Moore brings you the latest development about benzene and soda companies.

PepsiCo and several other beverage companies just settled a lawsuit, which alleged that their drinks contain the carcinogen benzene, Ahmed ElAmin of FoodNavigator.com reports.

The suit claimed that Pepsi’s Diet Wild Pepsi soda contained four times the amount of benzene the Environmental Protection Agency deems safe to ingest (which begs the question of why any amount of a possibly cancer-causing substance would be considered safe, but I digress.) The settlement means that the soda makers will reformulate the potentially dangerous drinks, if they haven’t done so already.

It’s really too bad that it took a class-action lawsuit to get the soda companies to do the right thing. But in my opinion, the bigger problem is that we can’t even rely on our so-called public health watchdogs to look out for us, either.

According to the FoodNavigator.com story, soda companies contacted the FDA about benzene in their products as far back as 1990. The FDA tested some products, but rather than letting the public in on the testing and its results, the federal agency merely agreed to let the corporations "reformulate" their beverages and "get the word out," according to a chemist with the FDA at the time.

However, the American Beverage Association and the FDA chemist admitted that some beverage companies, particularly those formed since 1990, "may have been left outside the loop," ElAmin writes.

In other words, the FDA fell down on the job, trusting the beverage industry to clean itself up, rather than requiring it to do so, and the beverage companies themselves haven’t proven able to police themselves (surprise, surprise.)

In any case, I’m glad that soda makers will now be forced to make their products less risky to drink. Of course, non-diet soda also contains a massive amount of sugar, and that isn’t healthy for the human body, either.

By Jennifer Moore for SUGAR SHOCK! Blog

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One thought on “Soda Companies Settle Benzene Lawsuit

  1. Soda Companies Settle Benzene Lawsuit

    it may not even be the case. The researchers are quick to point out that further studies are needed to replicate the current findings. Until soon after, the organization amidst diet soda and metabolic syndrome raises concerns, but proves nothing. Is…