chemical additives

A few weeks ago I posted about the safety of food colours. My argument was that the issue is not whether food additives are natural or man-made (let’s even say chemical because that really sounds nasty – even though water is a chemical and we are made of chemicals). Rather, the issue is whether any additives are safe or not, since plenty of natural products are highly dangerous (even fatal) and the vast majority of man-made additives are perfectly safe. My good friend, Mark Bishop (Professor at Goldsmiths) commented that maybe people feel safer with natural additives because they have been around for longer and so we are more certain about whether they are safe or not. He may have a point – today it was revealed that 4-methylimidazole (which is added to Pepsi and Coca-Cola) is carcinogenic. Presumably this chemical was once thought to be safe.

One thought on “chemical additives

  1. I think it’s more the case that a new law has moved the bar for ‘safe’ in this case. I think the science was done ages ago, and the FDA consider the dose in cola acceptable, but the new California state law is stricter.

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