Kathryn's Blog


Cancer-Causing Ingredients Found in Soda: Is Anyone Really Surprised? (Big Rant from a Small Woman)

Cancer-Causing Ingredients Found in Soda:  Is Anyone Really Surprised?

Earlier this week, I heard on the radio that a caramel-coloring agent used in sodas has been found to be a possible cancer-causing substance.  Lab studies on animals have now revealed that the caramel color can cause leukemia as well as liver, lung, and thyroid cancers.  This was based on an article submitted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest on February 16, 2011.

I have long held that the major health problems in our country - heart disease, cancer, stroke - are primarily caused by the foods we consume.  Of course, there are genetics and environmental factors to consider...but what we ingest and our body's ability to process it are, in my mind, directly related to the major health issues we face today. 

My question is:  Why are substances like this not researched prior to their inclusion in products that go to market?  Any chemical that is included in a "food" to be released to the general public should be researched diligently for its effect on the functioning of the human body.  Shouldn't it?  And yet, time and again we learn that a substance is toxic.  Saccharin, partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils, food dyes - all known to cause health problems - are just a few examples of chemicals that we have been allowed to ingest over the years.  (Did you know that the yellow dyes in Kraft Macaroni & Cheese are suspected to cause hyperactivity in children?  Yet, there they are on the list of ingredients.  And I have no facts to stand on, but I believe diet soda is the worst product a person can consume.)

Well, I know the short answers:  Time and money.  A company wants to get its product to market, limited studies show no danger, and another chemical-laden, convenience food hits the shelves.

But I'm all for proactive.  If synthetic substances were researched in-depth prior to use, maybe we'd see an improvement in our health.  Maybe, instead of putting so much time and money into treating cancer, heart disease, and other major illnesses, we'd just be able to prevent them.  What an impact that would have on national health-care costs.

But I'm also all for self-responsibility.  I believe that the government can only protect me to some degree; it is my responsibility to get informed and make decisions about what I put into my body.  And so, I will continue to read food labels and use strange-named substances (aspartame - what exactly is that?) with caution.  But that's just me.  I'm intelligent and informed.  What of the average American?  That is who I worry about when this type of study is released.

Call to action:  And so, I submit a call to action to the FDAPut in place stricter measures to protect the average American citizen from consuming substances that will make them ill.  Do that, and watch the health issues in our country decline.  I challenge you.



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Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador

Century 21 Real Estate LLC
175 Park Avenue
Madison NJ 07940

Serving Brokers, Owners, and Agents Throughout New England

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Blog: Real Estate Blog
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Comment balloon 10 commentsKathryn Acciari • February 18 2011 08:27AM


Good post.  As busy agents taking the time to read labels is one thing many of us fail to ever do.  I recently discovered I have high blood pressure and have really started paying attention to labels -- very scary that the government agency that is supposedly supposed to be safeguarding our food supply fails to effectively do that.  Diet soda is the worst -- I stopped drinking that long ago after googling the warning about phenylalanine, and scare ever diet soda drinker in my office when I tell them to research it.

Posted by Craig Alexander, Associate Broker in Virginia (Coldwell Banker Premier Properties) over 9 years ago

Kathryn, I agree and try to eat foods with fewer chemicals and mystery ingredients.  You have to even be careful with fruits and vegetables!

Posted by Karin Lundeen, Realtor Centennial Homes For Sale (Keller Williams Realty - Denver Southlands) over 9 years ago

Hi Kathryn - So many different ways to die:(  Heart disease is the number 1 killer of woman.  Add cancers #2,3,4 and 5 and they don't equal the number of deaths from heart disease.

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) over 9 years ago

Kathyrn...I was watching the Doctors the other day and the physician on the show said that if we would think of soda's (and diet soda's) as satan't piss we would not drink it. Now that sounds crude...but it is not something we should put in our bodies!

Posted by Kim Inman, CRS, Broker/Owner (Mountains to Lakes Real Estate, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Craig:  It is difficult to research all of the ingredients in a product.  We are not chemists, after all.

Karin:  As they say, the closer it is to nature, the better for you.  But then there are the pesticide issues to consider too.

Conrad:  Life is a risk, that is for sure!  We all need to take care of our only body.  Unfortunately there are too many options that are just bad for us.

Kim:  That's a head-turner - but effective.

Posted by Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador and Business Coach (Century 21 Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Kathryn--Time and again research comes out with new reasons not to drink soda.  I always thought I would live a long time like my parents and grandparents, but they did not have all of the bad things I have had my entire life.  Trying to do better now!  Thanks for the heads up!!

Posted by Pat Haddad, ABR, CRS, ePRO, GRI, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield IN Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Indianapolis Metro NE) over 9 years ago

Pat:  The farther we get from food in its natural element, the more cautious we need to be.  Thanks for stopping by.

Posted by Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador and Business Coach (Century 21 Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Kathryn - it's kind of like if the thing tastes so good that you have to have it; it's probably not good for you. I'm with you - why don't we test this stuff first. Of course, by now, the damage has been done.

Posted by Toni Weidman, 20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) over 9 years ago

We are so far away from the foods are bodies were designed to ingest ! It's scary !!!!!!

Posted by Michael J. Perry, Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist (KW Elite ) about 9 years ago

Toni:  It does make me wonder if other foods with this carmel coloring have the same chemicals.

Michael:  The hard part is, those processed foods are easy to access and taste yummy.

Posted by Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador and Business Coach (Century 21 Real Estate) about 9 years ago