From the moment the Center for Environmental Health released test results showing that Pepsi intentionally covered up the presence of high levels of 4-Mel in its popular soft drinks in 2013, the company firmly denied both the presence of this chemical in its beverages and that had a dangerous potential. 4-Mel, which is short for 4-Methylimidazole, is a compound that is formed in the manufacturing of caramel coloring, and is a known carcinogen.
From then on, the drinks maker has stood against complying with California state requirements to place a cancer warning label on the beverages that contain the ingredient, which include not only Pepsi, but also Diet Pepsi and Pepsi One.
As of now, a settlement in a class action lawsuit against Pepsi has gained preliminary approval from a federal judge in California. That took part of a proposed settlement, Pepsi has agreed to ensure its caramel coloring’s 4-Mel levels do not exceed 100 parts per billion in products that are being shipped for sale within the U.S. On top of that they will need to test the soda using specific protocols.
The corporative uber power also agreed to these measures in a different lawsuit that was settled in a California state court last year. However that settlement widens the reach of these measures from California to the whole country.
The concrete lawsuit pointed out the blame at Pepsi for not warning people that its beverages contain 4-Mel, which California has officially recognized as a cancer-causing chemical.
Also a 2014 Consumer Reports test showed that the 4-Mel in Pepsi exceeded the permitted level of 29 micrograms per bottle or can, that would analogically mean that they violated common law and consumer protection statutes in the state of California.
In particular, this violates California’s Proposition 65, which has been in place since 1985, and requires manufacturers to provide consumers with clear warnings when their products will expose them to toxic or cancer-causing chemicals.
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