Water, Soft Drinks and Cancer

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.)


Jon Herring is the former Health Editor and copywriter for Early To Rise. While his formal education is in finance, Jon has invested over 3000 hours in the study of health and nutrition. He is deeply motivated to provide people with the information and the inspiration to live a long and active life, filled with energy and free from disease. Jon has also been a student of direct sales and marketing since an early age. Before he was 10 years old, he was selling door to door, and he has been an active entrepreneur ever since. After graduating from the University of Georgia in 1993, Jon moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming where he learned how to build houses, climb mountains, catch trout, and ski fast down hill. However, after several years of poverty with a nice view, Jon returned to his hometown of Nashville to seek his fortune. Within two years – at the age of 26 – he had started a direct marketing business that was earning six figure annual revenues. In addition to his passion for health, Jon has a strong interest in business and investing. He is also a staunch advocate for honest government and the libertarian values of privacy, freedom, and personal responsibility.