DHAKA: Drinking Pepsi, one of the major products imported by Transcom Beverage, is a threat of cancer.
The caramel colouring used in Pepsi is contaminated with two cancer-causing chemicals and should be banned, said the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a health lobby group based in Washington, DC.
Chemical reactions result in the formation of two substances known as 2-MI and 4-MI which in government-conducted studies caused lung, liver, or thyroid cancer or leukaemia in laboratory mice or rats.
National Toxicology Program of America says there is ‘clear evidence’ that both 2-MI and 4-MI are animal carcinogens, and therefore likely to pose a risk to humans.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, found significant levels of 4-MI in Pepsi.
The executive director of the CSPI, Michael F Jacobson said carcinogenic colourings have no place in the food supply, especially considering that their only function is a cosmetic one.
US regulations distinguish between four types of caramel colouring, two of which are produced with ammonia and two without it.
The CSPI wants the two made with ammonia to be banned and has received backing from five prominent cancer experts, including several who have worked at the National Toxicology Program.
Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institution (BSTI) sources said the formula of producing Pepsi in Bangladesh comes from America.
In response to a query that why BSTI is not taking action as Pepsi is contaminated with caramel coloring, an officer of BSTI told banglanews, wishing anonymity, “The local dealers of such multinational companies are very powerful.”
He said the administration has allegations against Transcom Beverage owner Latifur Rahman for mixing contaminated ingredients in Pepsi and other food products.
“But it is not easy to take action against him,” he said.
When contacted, duty officer of Transcom Beverage information centre Smrity said, “Director Sir is not interested to talk with you about color used in Pepsi. You better contact with the factory.”
But none receive the call of factory’s land phone, banglanews correspondent reports.
BDST: 2000 HRS, JAN 14, 2012
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