As first reported in the February 21, 2011,Prepared Foods’ E-dition, 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,” says the company. 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 people have been consuming for generations, and it is not an additive, says the company.
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