Recent attention has raised questions about the issue of benzene in soft drinks. Benzene is a substance that is present in our natural environment, but can also form under certain limited conditions in particular soft drinks containing potassium or sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid.
No Health Risk
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has indicated no public health concern regarding benzene in soft drinks.
When the presence of benzene has been found in soft drinks, it has been at low levels that do not pose a human health concern, according to reviews by the FDA. Still, the beverage industry is taking – and has taken – aggressive actions to address the formation of benzene, even if it occurs sparingly and at safe levels.
Benzene is Unavoidable
Benzene is present throughout our natural environment – you breathe it and consume it every day. It is in the air we breathe, and in a wide variety of foods, including bananas, eggs and drinking water. In fact, 95 percent of our exposure to benzene does not come from food, water or other beverages; it comes from the air that we breath.
The industry’s foremost commitment is to its valued consumers. As such, the industry continues to take proactive action to minimize the formation of benzene in beverages – even at safe levels. Steps can be taken in the formulation and testing of beverages to minimize benzene. The American Beverage Association is making sure these best practices are communicated throughout our fast-growing industry by working cooperatively with FDA, our international counterparts and with member and non-member companies alike.