Class-action lawsuits on behalf of concerned parents have been filed against soft-drink companies Polar Beverages and In Zone Brands, on the grounds that they did not take sufficient steps to prevent benzene from forming in their drinks.
In Zone produces the BellyWashers line of sugary sweet juice drinks that come in reusable bottles featuring cartoon characters marketed for kids, and Polar Beverages is a bottler of sodas, mixers, seltzers and bottled water in the Northeastern United States.
Linked to Leukemia
Benzene is a chemical linked to leukemia. It can form in soft drinks that contain both vitamin C (ascorbic acid), and either sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate. Independent laboratory tests found benzene in the two companies' drinks at levels above the federal limit set for drinking water.
The FDA has begun testing soft drinks for benzene, but is not yet releasing the data to the public, claiming that doing so would be "confusing."
OK, we know that sodas are the number one source of calories in America, so this is no minor issue folks. It is big news when you have a well known toxic solvent identified in sodas.
If all the news about benzene levels being detected in soft drinks distributed in Western Europe and America doesn't concern manufacturers yet, it should, now that lawsuits are being filed by concerned parents.
An interesting fact in one of the linked news stories was shared by Mike Redman, an executive with the American Beverage Association, and it may explain why benzene is such a problem:
The FDA left it up to the soft drink industry to determine the best way to lower benzene levels in soft drinks. But that was about 15 years ago ...
In the present, the FDA is sitting on benzene data they believe may be "confusing." I wonder if they think people will be "confused" as to why the FDA didn't do more about this a decade and a half ago.
What's not confusing:
Soft drinks, as I said at the top, are the leading source for calories in America and they increase your obesity risks by 60 percent.
Diet soft drinks, despite what you may think, are no better for your weight, and usually contain health-harming artificial sweeteners as well. Without question, as bad as regular sugar-laden sodas are, they are far superior to the artificial sweeteners used in diet sodas.
Of course, in some ways that is similar to ask whether you prefer getting hit in the head with a sledge hammer, a baseball bat or a golf club. None of the choices are good, it is all a matter of the lesser of two health evils.
One of the easiest things you can do to optimize your health is to replace soft and sugary sweet fruit drinks with clean fresh water. That is a basic step in the right direction that more us need to be running toward.
There just is simply NO excuse to be drinking soda in my book, none, absolutely none.