Coca-Cola and Pepsi Make Changes to Caramel Coloring

April 9, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings 
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. mandatory (adj.) 
[man-duh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] – must be followed according to the law or the rule
Example:  Government laws are mandatory to everyone.

2. minimum (n.) [min-uh-muhm] – the smallest acceptable or required number
Example: A student needs a minimum score of 70 to pass the exam.
3. petition (n.) [puh-tish-uhn] – a written request that is signed by a large number of people
Example: Citizens made a petition to change some government rules.

4. scientific (adj.) [sahy-uhn-tif-ik] – related to science
Example People use new scientific knowledge to create better technology.

5. reduction (n.) [ri-duhk-shuhn] – act of lessening in amount
ExampleReduction of sugar in food can keep one healthy.

Read the text below.

Big corporations like Coca-Cola and Pepsi will change their sodas’ caramel coloring to avoid adding cancer warnings on their products.

A California law makes it mandatory for products with a minimum amount of cancer-causing ingredients to have a cancer warning label. The caramel coloring used in most sodas was recently added to the list of such ingredients.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) filed a petition in February 2011 against the use of the caramel coloring. Through its study, the non-profit organization found a chemical in caramel coloring that can cause cancer to mice and rats.

The US Food and Drug Administration is studying the petition, but it has initially said that a person would have to drink over 1,000 cans of soda each day before the chemical would cause cancer-related health problems.

Meanwhile, the American Beverage Association said California added caramel coloring to its list of cancer-causing ingredients based only on a study involving animals. The association emphasized that no scientific study proves that caramel coloring causes cancer to humans.

Nonetheless, Coca-Cola and Pepsi have asked caramel suppliers to change caramel cooking methods, because the cooking process produces the cancer-causing chemical.

A reduction of the chemical has already been done for drinks sold in California. The soda companies will also apply the chemical reduction to products across the US to simplify the process of making their soda.

According to a Coca-Cola representative, consumers will not notice any difference in the product.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         How important are food labels?
·         Is it right for the government to control food labels? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         How will cancer warning labels affect food companies? Why or why not?
·         What can food companies do to convince customers that their products are safe?


April 9, 2012