Benzene, Cancer and Soft Drinks Connection

The FDA continues its harmful­-to­-the­-public relationship with industry

How to remove benzene from the body

by dr aajonus vonderplanitz, phd nutrition

(Suggested remedy in last paragraph.)

Benzene is listed as carcinogenic by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA). FDA and the beverage industry have been aware of the fact that sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid together form benzene in soft drinks since at least 1990. They even debated about how much a drink's exposure to heat could exacerbate the benzene­-problem. There was discussion about reformulating soft drinks to reduce benzene to safe drinking­-water levels but nothing was mandated. The FDA set no maximum limit for benzene in soft drinks.

Recently, a concerned industry whistle­-blower paid for independent testing and discovered that some soft drinks still contain benzene levels considerably above the limit allowed in water. The story was reported in February 2006 by a BeverageDaily.com investigation. Consequently, FDA re­-opened its investigation of the benzene­-issue.

An FDA chemist and the US soft­-drink association stated that some soft­-drink firms might not know of the potential for sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid to form benzene in drinks. Anyone who believes that any multi­-billion­-dollar­-yearly industry is not aware of everything about the chemistry of its products is naive. The chemical reaction of sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid help create the zing and addiction that appeals to soft­-drinkers. The soft­-drink industry does not want to stop using it in some products even if it causes or helps cause cancer in its customers.

Industry and FDA continue to assure us that consumers are not at immediate risk from drinks containing benzene at the levels found in soft drinks to date. Science, rather than speculative belief, shows that there is immediate harm to soft­-drinkers. FDA has knowingly allowed consumers to drink carcinogenic benzene for 15 years and kept those who needed to know ignorant.

For people who consumed soft drinks and want to remove any bodily storage of benzene before it could cause cancer, I suggest that they drink 1­-2 cups of raw mixed vegetable juices of only 90% celery and 10% cilantro once daily around noon­time for 5 consecutive days. I suggest that they eat 1 tablespoon of no­-salt-added raw cheese and 1 tablespoon of unsalted raw butter or avocado about 20 minutes after drinking the juices. I suggest that they repeat that process every 10 days for 2­6 years, depending on how much soft drinks they consumed.

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