British Diet Coke Drinkers Now Benzoate-Free

There are people who seek out Mexican Coke—made from real sugar, not high-fructose corn syrup. British Diet Coke may be next on the need-to-find list, as the Coca-Cola company recently announced it would remove the preservative sodium benzoate—linked in studies to cell damage and hyperactivity in children—but only in its products made for Britain, where the aforementioned studies took place. The additive will remain in regular Coke as well as other sodas made by the company.

Sodium benzoate is a naturally occurring substance, found in several fruits, used to help preserve soft drinks. It has been approved as safe by the UK Food Standards Agency. The Coca-Cola company has said it is removing the additive in response to consumer demand for more “natural” products.

Coke is not alone in its desire to be more natural (ahem). According to the article, “Major supermarkets, including Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, pledged to remove artificial additives from their private label soft drinks last summer, following the furore” over the two British studies.

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