The chemical benzene is an aggressive carcinogen. It’s known to cause leukemia and other cancers of the blood, even in minute amounts. That’s why municipal water supplies must test for it and adhere to strict limits. So what is it doing in soft drinks … and at levels eight times higher than those allowed for drinking water?
Those are the levels of benzene that the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) found in some soft drinks when they ordered tests on 230 different varieties. They took the action after the FDA revealed similar results in soft drinks tested in the States. The FSA will not reveal the identity of the drinks. (It appears they may be more concerned with protecting the soft drink industry than protecting health.)
Scientists believe that benzene is produced when the chemical preservative sodium benzoate is mixed with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in the drinks. Whatever the cause, this is just more evidence of the potential consequences of ingesting the artificial ingredients and preservatives found in processed foods and drinks.
(Reference: The Times Online)
– Jon Herring
(Ed. Note: This isn’t the first time Jon has mentioned the questionable motives of the FSA. If you’re interested, go back and read what he wrote in Message #1348 and Message #1462.)