By Peter Madoda Bungane
VARUN Beverages Limited provides bottling and distribution services for beverage manufacturers. The company manufactures and markets carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks and package drinking water under the Pepsi brand. The company’s beverage portfolio also includes 7up, Miranda, and Mountain Dew brands; Time and time again. Varun Beverages uses tartrazine its soft drinks Mirinda and Montain Dew. Tartrazine has been proven to cause many different side-effects and allergic reactions in people. These can include: anxiety, migraines, asthma attacks, blurred vision, eczema, other skin rashes, thyroid cancer, Eosinophilia (increase in specific forms of white blood cells), clinical depression, ADHD or hyperactivity, hives, permanent DNA damage, heart palpitations, rhinitis, sleep disturbances/insomnia, general all-over weakness, hot flushes and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). In severe cases, anaphylactic-like reactions to tartrazine have also been reported. It is sometimes even fed to chickens to make their egg yolks more yellow and visually appealing.
Studies have also revealed that consuming tartrazine also aggravates and increases the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (a painful wrist condition which is caused by the compression of the median nerve, which passes between the ligaments and bones in the wrist). The reason for this aggravation is because tartrazine interferes with the metabolism of Vitamin B6 in the body. By eliminating tartrazine from the diet, it is possible to reduce and even prevent the occurrence of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Tartrazine is one of a group of artificial colors known as azo dyes. This refers to their chemical structure, which is similar to that of aspirin; so people who are sensitive to aspirin are more likely to react to these dyes. Asthmatics are also more likely to have a bad reaction to them.
Artificial colors are still used in a wide range of foods and drinks, in spite of all the evidence against them. These aren’t just synthetic versions of natural colors: these substances don’t exist in nature at all. While the worst ones are gradually being replaced with natural alternatives, there are many more still in use. Don’t wait for scientists to prove that they have adverse effects on health – that could take many years, and permanent damage to many people before they accept it.
Why take the risk? Your family’s health is ultimately your responsibility. A healthy diet consists of real food, without any artificial additives.
By release of this article Varun Beverages Zambia official Karthik Jayaprakash did not respond to initial queries as to why his company was using a poisonous substance and endangering the lives of many Zambian people.
The main reason that tartrazine is used is because of the fact that it is a cheap alternative to beta-carotene, which is 100% natural and beneficial to our health. Turmeric can also be used as an alternative colourant in savoury dishes. Malt and Annatto can also replace this extremely unhealthy additive.