Sarah C. Corriher of writes:

One of the dirty secrets of the soft drink and processed food industries is sodium benzoate. It is a benzene compound that is produced by mixing benzoic acid with sodium hydroxide. It is a common preservative in processed foods and soft drinks. It has been associated with a vast array of health problems, including all of our major epidemics. Sodium benzoate is considerably more toxic than either processed sugar or high fructose corn syrup, yet it gets very little media coverage. It is a bona fide poison. Outside of our foods, benzene is the main ingredient of Liquid Wrench, various paint stripper products, rubber cements, and spot removers, due it its highly destructive and solvent qualities. It was discontinued in rubber manufacture in the U.S. because it caused a large percentage of workers to get leukemia.

Countries throughout Europe have been pressuring the food industry to voluntarily remove sodium benzoate from products, before more aggressive action is taken. Several European media outlets have called for an absolute ban on this toxic preservative due to concerns about children’s developmental safety. The U.S. Government and media have remained disturbingly silent. As usual, there have been no studies in the U.S. about the chemical’s effects upon children, but it is studied elsewhere. The chemical industry in the United States is well protected, and studying its effects upon children in the United States would be career suicide for any researcher, as has happened with many researchers of fluoride. Meanwhile, thousands of children are dying of leukemia.

Like many other food industry chemicals, it was originally found in an organic form in nature. Trace amounts of the organic form can be found in blueberries, apples, cranberries, plums, and cinnamon. However, sodium benzoate has no known negative effects in its organic form. Only the synthetic version has toxic effects. Perhaps the organic form occurs with its own biological neutralizers, as is frequently the case with organically-occurring food toxins, or the organic form is somehow different from the sodium benzoate that is made in chemical laboratories. The natural version does not have any preservative action, because it has no toxicity. It is only when sodium benzoate is produced inside a chemical laboratory that the result is a cheap, toxic agent that kills living organisms.

There are many chemical additives that present health hazards, but synthetic sodium benzoate is especially dangerous because it is able to destroy parts of the DNA. This means that the sodium benzoate consumed today may still be causing problems in future generations. Sodium benzoate is known to specifically attack the mitochondria of DNA. The mitochondria use oxygen to produce energy. They also control the cell life cycle and cell growth. The effects of chronic exposure to sodium benzoate has not been studied. Whenever there is a change in the DNA or overall genetic structure, the effects on the organism are unpredictably random. Sodium benzoate and DNA damage have already been linked with Parkinson’s disease, liver problems, and these just scratch the surface of the possibilities.

Our seemingly confused medical establishment increasingly labels new diseases as spontaneous and genetic in origin, while ignoring that poisons like sodium benzoate are known to cause genetic mutations. The link to genetic mutations explains why benzene is so incredibly carcinogenic, and it likewise explains why radiation is so carcinogenic; for radiation exposure induces the chemical formation of benzene compounds inside proteins.

“Once again, the FDA has sided with big food companies and misled consumers about the problem of benzene in beverages, withholding data and issuing public reassurances that are contradicted by their own test results.”

— Richard Wiles, Environmental Working Group’s senior vice president

Whenever sodium benzoate is exposed to vitamin C, it forms pure benzene. It is astounding that our chemical industry found a method through which they could make vitamin C dangerous. Virtually all soft drinks currently have added synthetic vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid, as if that would make the drinks healthy. This leads to the inevitable creation of dangerous benzene. Its inclusion causes a decrease of red blood cells, a severe depression of the immune system which produces generalized allergy symptoms, leukemia, various other blood cancers, and pre-cancerous blood conditions.

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