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Monday, January 16, 2017

Soft Drink and Processed Food with Sodium benzoate & Leukemia

One of the dirty secrets of the soft drink and processed food industries is sodium benzoate. It is a benzene compound that is produced by mixing benzoic acid with sodium hydroxide. It is a common preservative in processed foods and soft drinks. It has been associated with a vast array of health problems, including all of our major epidemics. Sodium benzoate is considerably more toxic than either processed sugar or high fructose corn syrup, yet it gets very little media coverage. It is a bona fide poison. Outside of our foods, benzene is the main ingredient of Liquid Wrench, various paint stripper products, rubber cement, and spot removers, due to its highly destructive and solvent qualities. It was discontinued in rubber manufacture in the U.S. because it caused a large percentage of workers to get leukemia.

Sodium benzoate is a synthetic chemical produced when benzoic acid, which is found naturally in some fruits and spices, is combined with sodium hydroxide. Since sodium benzoate contains a natural ingredient, it is probably safe, right? After all, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Canadian Health Protection Branch have pronounced this chemical preservative to be acceptable when consumed in low amounts.
In fact, the FDA has granted sodium benzoate GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status, and the so-called safe limit in food is 0.1 percent by weight. In water, the acceptable limit, set by the Environmental Protection Agency, is 5 parts per billion (ppb). But this common food additive, which is found in carbonated sodas, fruit juice products, salad dressings, and fermented foods such as vinegar, wine, and pickles, is not natural nor safe. Here’s the story.
Sodium benzoate is a sodium salt that is present at extremely low levels in berries, apples, plums, cinnamon, and several other natural foods. There’s nothing scary about the chemical in these items. But lab-synthesized sodium benzoate (and its close relative, benzoic acid) are a different story. When these preservatives are added to foods and to the interior of metal cans that contain beverages or liquid foods, they can have a detrimental effect on your health.
For example, a small percentage of people are hypersensitive to sodium benzoate and can experience asthmatic attacks, hives, or other allergic reactions when they consume the preservative. A more common problem, however, is the combination of sodium benzoate and citric acid and/or ascorbic acid (vitamin C). When these ingredients get together, they form benzene, a cancer-causing chemical associated with leukemia and other blood cancers.