While I wait for someone to find a well-designed study showing risks with Aspartame – because I can’t find one despite years of looking – it does look like there is a risk with the cola flavoured soft-drinks from a different quarter. The additive 4-MEI (4-methylimidazole) is a known potential carcinogen. It is formed during the manufacture of the additive that creates the caramel color of cola drinks.
The pity is that this additive is only there for aesthetics, not for taste. For what it’s worth Coca-Cola had the lowest amounts added, but we have to ask the question: ‘Why any at all?’ While it is dose-related, teenagers can have high levels of consumption, putting them at significant risk. To read more see this article from Medical News Today.