Source: Daily Dose Newsletter

Saving the benzene for the Benz
Soda Pop

Between the sugar and coloring agents in most soda and the artificial sweeteners in "diet" varieties, there's plenty in pop to pop off about. And as some of you may know, I've been doing just that for a long time...

But one soda ingredient I didn't think I'd ever be sounding the alarm about is benzene!

For those of you who don't know, benzene is a flammable petroleum (crude oil) distillate, a key component of many solvents, cleaners-and yes, gasoline too. It's also used in the making of plastics and rubber. Last but not least, benzene is a known carcinogen, linked strongly to blood cancer and leukemia in humans. Sounds yummy, doesn't it? Maybe if you're a car...

Yet cancer-causing benzene is exactly what's been recently discovered in large quantities of soda-pop in Britain. According to the UK's Times Online, 26 different soda products from various manufacturers have been pulled from the shelves of several market chains because of unsafe levels of the compound.

What are unsafe levels?

Well if you ask me, ANY of the stuff's unsafe. But according to Britain's Food Standards Agency (acting under guidance from the World Health Organization), acceptable levels of benzene in soft drinks should be no higher than what's considered safe in drinking water: 1 part per billion (ppb).

At least one of the soda drinks yanked from shelves last month tested at 36 TIMES this limit. Others tested at still-high 28ppb and 17ppb levels.

Currently, there is no legal limit for the amount of benzene in drinks other than water in the UK. That makes this somewhat uncharted waters for the FSA. They de-shelved these drinks under existing WHO benzene guidelines-which technically have no legal jurisdiction in the EU. According to the Times piece, both the soft drink industry and the FSA have known about excessive levels of benzene in their products for 15 years or more...

Perhaps now that this soda scandal is world news, the FSA and other EU regulatory bodies will pass regulations about benzene, and force beverage industry compliance. Interestingly enough, the action was sparked by the discovery of benzene in several drink varieties in the U.S., including one major household-name brand of diet soda. I won't say which, in the hopes you'll avoid them ALL just to be on the safe side.

To start receiving your own copy of the Daily Dose, visit:
Or forward this e-mail to a friend so they can sign-up to receive their own copy of the Daily Dose.