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Sugary drink consumption and risk of cancer: results from NutriNet-Santé prospective cohort

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l2408 (Published 10 July 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l2408

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Re: Sugary drink consumption and risk of cancer: results from NutriNet-Santé prospective cohort

I have a brief question regarding the exact identity of the '100% fruit juices' self-reported in your study, if you would be so kind, because the Appendices do not appear in the online versions that I can access.

My concern is that many so-called 100% fruit juices and nearly all sugary drinks contain benzoate preservative E211 (typically) and it is known that this preservative can react with added and natural Vitamin C to produce the known carcinogen benzene.

The WHO limit on benzene in drinking water is 10 ppb. The Australian limit in drinking water is 1 ppb. The levels of benzene found in soft drinks historically were 25-50 ppb (USA 15/2/06), >60ppb (South America 20/2/06), up to 28ppb (UK 31/3/06), up to 88 ppb (Korea 18/4/06).

May this add to the explanation for the observed cancers?

Competing interests: No competing interests

02 August 2019
Howard Dengate
Co-founder
Food Intolerance Network
Australia