US regulators, responding to an advocacy group's complaint that a chemical used in colas was responsible for causing tumours in animals, said consumers were at no immediate risk from the substance.
An FDA statement quoted spokesman Douglas Karas, as saying that a person would have to drink more than a thousand cans of soda in a day to match the doses administered in studies that showed links to cancer in rodents.
In a statement issued yesterday, The Center for Science in the Public Interest, (CSPI) a consumer-health group in Washington, said high levels of the chemical 4-methylimidazole were found in drinks made by Coca-Cola Co (KO) and PepsiCo Inc (PEP). The chemical formed part of colouring used in colas and the subject of a study, released today by the group. The finding was however, disputed by an industry group.
"This is nothing more than scare tactics," the American Beverage Association said in a statement today, and called the claims "outrageous."
In an e-mail, the FDA's Karas wrote, the agency had no reason to believe consumers were in danger. He added the agency was reviewing the group's petition.
The consumer group says it commissioned laboratory studies of products including Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, Snapple Group Inc's Dr Pepper as also Diet Dr Pepper, and Whole Foods 365 Cola from Washington-area stores.