Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sodium Benzoate or Flash - Which is the Silent Killer?

New research indicates a possibility that sodium benzoate - a common preservative - has adverse effects on yeast mitochondria, with possible implications for humans. I'm normally not remotely alarmist about these sorts of things (I could be described as risk-tolerant, to say the least, as may be indicated in a future post). Of course it's worth looking into, and I'm curious to find out whether this is a real concern. It is a preservative, so it's purpose is to kill things, just hopefully not people.

After reading about this, I figured it was worth going to a few websites to determine which of my favorite sodas had sodium (or presumably potassium) benzoate. What amazed me is how little the Coca-cola and Pepsi websites had to do with drinks. Go to, and in addition to an annoying flash display, you see links to music, car culture, sports, entertainment, and fashion. Smaller links below include "brands and products", which is more than I can say for, which as far as I can tell contains no information on the Coca-cola product whatsoever. After 12 mouse clicks, through the corporate page and more annoying flash crap than I would wish on anyone but my worst enemies, I managed to find out that Sprite "has an honest, straightforward attitude that sets it apart from other soft drinks." I wish I were making this up, but I don't think I'm capable of it, unlike the moron that designed this website. Eventually I googled "Sprite ingredient list" and the first hit confirmed that it does indeed include sodium benzoate (as do diet drinks and Dr. Pepper it seems, but not regular Coke and Pepsi).


Matt said...

flash is the loud and annoying killer, so I guess I'll go with Sodium Benzoate.

Alan Rosenwinkel said...

It really annoys me when websites make noise without me requesting it with a click, or at least consenting to it with one. (, argh)

dave hiller said...

The ESPN noise really bothers me also, and it's one reason I hardly ever go to their site anymore. At least if I did, they'd have some sports there though.

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