D.D. Williamson Response: Caramel Color is Safe and Harmless

February 21/Israel/D.D. Williamson Press Release -- D.D. Williamson has issued the following response to the news of CSPI's effort: "Caramel color has undergone complete food safety testing more than 20 times in the past 35 years, and meets rigorous food safety standards around the world. There has never been a study that showed any health risk from caramel color. "The state of California has decided to include 4-MeI -- formed naturally in most cooking, broiling, roasting and grilling -- on its Proposition 65 list of possible carcinogens. As a result of this regulatory action, many soft drinks, soups, gravies, sauces and baked goods -- foods produced using caramel color, a common ingredient produced by cooking sugar or corn syrup -- would need to carry a warning label claiming that it is a possible carcinogen. "The decision defies common sense and good science. "4-MEI is formed naturally in the process of cooking, roasting, broiling or grilling food of every sort: chicken, beef, vegetables, other meats, and even coffee. It is found in hundreds of home-cooked or store-bought foods that people have been consuming for generations. It is not an additive. "California's decision, which was made by a regulatory agency without any public hearing or review of other research, was based on two inconclusive and contradictory studies: one study in rats, after they were fed large amounts of 4-MEI, showed a reduction of tumors and the same study in mice showed an increase in tumors. There has never been a study that showed any connection between 4-MEI and cancer in humans. "If you believe what the State of California has recommended, you will no longer grill on the 4th of July, or enjoy a cup of coffee on a peaceful Sunday morning."

From the February 21, 2011, Prepared Foods E-dition