Watchdog group, ‘Center for Environmental Health’, found that Pepsi cola products sold outside of California contain high levels of 4-methylimidazole which is in the products caramel colouring.
Despite Pepsi saying a year ago that it would change its formula, recent tests by Eurofins Central Analytical Laboratories of Louisiana, who were commissioned to carry out tests on Pepsi and Coca-Cola products by the watchdog group, found levels of 4-methylimidazole in 9 out of 10 products purchased in states outside of California which were 4 to 8 times higher than the level California state health officials consider safe.
Studies have shown that long-term exposure to the chemical causes lung cancer in mice and rats, but as yet there have been no confirmed links to cancer in humans.
Health officials in California rules that products containing more than 29mcg of 4-methylimidazole must carry a health warning. All cola companies were forced to cut levels when research found that all products contained nearly 140mcg of the chemical.
Although Coca-Cola has removed the chemical from its products, Pepsi still insists that levels in its products are within safe levels set out by the US Food and Drug Administration.