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Do Benzene Lawsuits Worry Soft Drink Manufacturers?

If all this news about benzene levels being detected in soft drinks distributed in Western Europe and America doesn't concern manufacturers yet, it should, considering lawsuits have been filed in Florida Circuit Court and Massachusetts Superior Court by parents earlier this week.

The lawsuits target In Zone, the Georgia-based producers of the BellyWashers line of sugary sweet juice drinks that come in reusable bottles featuring cartoon characters marketed for kids, and Polar Beverages, a small bottler of sodas, mixers, seltzers and bottled water in the Northeastern United States.

Both suits target the results of independent testing on product samples from the two companies that detected benzene levels above the "safe" level of benzene in drinking water.

An interesting fact, shared in a news story by Mike Redman an executive with the American Beverage Association, that may explain why benzene is such a problem: The FDA left it up to the soft drink industry to determine the best way to lower benzene levels in soft drinks. But that was about 15 years ago...

And, right now, the FDA is sitting on benzene data they believe may be "confusing" for companies and consumers. What's not confusing: Soft drinks are the leading source for calories in America and they increase your obesity risks by 60 percent.

One of the easiest things you can do to optimize your health is to replace soft and sugary sweet fruit drinks with clean fresh water.

News and Observer.com April 13, 2006

ABC News April 11, 2006

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