News Releases & Statements
American Beverage Association Statement About Benzene Lawsuits
Recently, several beverage companies have been named in benzene civil class action lawsuits in a number of states. These complaints have been filed despite the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) repeated statements that it has found no public health risk from the trace amounts of benzene found in a very limited number of beverage brands.
The FDA has closely reviewed beverages for the presence of benzene in soft drinks several times in the past and each time has found no public health issue. As recently as May 19 2006, FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) stated, “The results of CFSAN’s 2005/2006 survey indicate that the levels of benzene found in soft drinks and other beverages to date do not pose a safety concern for consumers.”
Soft drinks are safe, including the few products that show small amounts of benzene.
Benzene is ubiquitous to the environment. It is in the air we breathe and the foods we eat. People are exposed to more benzene from breathing the air, or eating a banana than from consuming a soft drink.
Given statements from the FDA and other international regulatory bodies finding that benzene is not a public health concern, it is difficult to understand the basis for these lawsuits.
The industry’s foremost commitment is to its consumers. We are an industry whose customers invite us into their lives billions of times a day throughout the world. Our top priority is always to ensure the quality and safety of our products through rigorous food safety procedures.