Food police take on the coloring in cola

February 16, 2011 3:55:45 PM PST
First came word the "secret ingredient" in Coke might be "outted."

Now, come charges the coloring in cola is risky to our health.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest says the "caramel coloring" used in Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and other foods contains two cancer-causing chemicals.

And in a petition filed today by the CSPI, the consumer group wants the coloring banned.

The group says most people think the coloring is akin to the caramel one might make at home with sugar in a saucepan.

But in reality, it says the color is produced by the reaction of sugars with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperatures.

The group says the result are chemicals, which caused cancer in laboratory mice or rats.

The beverage industry says the charges are baseless, and that the coloring is safe.