Transcript: Is Sodium Benzoate Harmful?
And speaking of soft drink additives, the preservative sodium benzoate. Harmful, harmless, or helpful? I’d go with harmful—in part, because of a little thing called benzene. When ascorbic acid and sodium benzoate get together, they can form the potent carcinogen benzene.
The FDA and EPA—the Environmental Protection Agency—measured and reported benzene levels in about 200 brands last year. More than 60% of the beverages were contaminated, with about a third exceeding safety levels set for drinking water. What’s even more shocking is that an internal memo was discovered showing that the soda industry knew—for the last 18 years—that their products contained benzene, but they chose not to reveal this fact. In a company statement, Coca Cola responded, saying that there was "much more benzene in cigarette smoke, car exhaust, and canned tuna." But when you have to compare your product to cigarettes, tuna, and gasoline to make it look safe by comparison, there’s probably a problem.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.
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