Caramel coloring: A closer look

By Nikki Henderson |

Published 01/23 2014 03:20PM

Updated 01/23 2014 03:31PM

The FDA has started an investigation into the caramel coloring often used in sodas after new report finds varying levels of impurity.  Eirka Edwards reports.

The Food and Drug Administration says it is taking a new look at a brown food coloring in sodas and other foods after Consumer Reports said it found higher than expected levels of a potentially cancer-causing agent in some soft drinks.

The group said its tests of soft drinks using caramel coloring show some contain higher-than-necessary levels of a compound called 4-methylimidazole or 4-MEI.

The FDA says there's no evidence the compound is unsafe as used, but a spokeswoman said the agency would look closer after the Consumer Reports complaints.

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