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Pepsi Plans to Drop Disputed Cancer Chemical

Pepsi Plans to Drop Disputed Cancer Chemical
Photograph by Paul Taggart/Bloomberg

A report released just before July 4th by an environmental group seems to have gotten lost in the holiday weekend haze, despite findings that link cola and cancer. Pepsi continues to sell sodas made with4-methylimidazole, or 4-MEI—ruled a carcinogen last year by the state of California—according to the Center For Environmental Health.

The nonprofit group noted that Pepsi sold inside California had been reformulated to comply with state rules about the substance, yet drinks sold outside the state continue to include higher amounts of 4-MEI, which helps give the company’s cola drinks their caramel hue. The group found little to no 4-MEI in Coca-Cola, which has switched to a modified caramel coloring.