Soft drinks pulled from shelves over cancer fear
By Valerie Elliott, Consumer Editor
# Watchdog demands inquiry over benzene levels in 26 popular brands
SOFT DRINKS were being removed from supermarket shelves last night after they were found to be contaminated with a cancer-causing chemical.
Four products were immediately pulled from shelves and a further 22, including leading brands, were found to contain levels of benzene greater than that allowed in tap water. The bottles already taken from shelves because they breach World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance include own-label soft drinks sold by the Co-op, Morrisons and Aldi.
Tests on one Co-op drink showed that levels of benzene, which is linked with leukaemia and other forms of blood cancer, were 36 times those allowed in tap water. Drinks that were still on sale last night, but that breach the legal limit for benzene in tap water, include some of those made by Schweppes, Robinsons, Kia-Ora, Vimto and Lilt.
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