CONTINUATION: Warning: Soft Drinks Can Seriously Damage Health ; HOME NEWS
laboratory. What he found alarmed him: the benzoate was damaging an important area of DNA in the "power station" of cells known as the mitochondria.
He told The Independent on Sunday: "These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it: they knock it out altogether.
"The mitochondria consumes the oxygen to give you energy and if you damage it - as happens in a number if diseased states - then the cell starts to malfunction very seriously. And there is a whole array of diseases that are now being tied to damage to this DNA - Parkinson's and quite a lot of neuro-degenerative diseases, but, above all, the whole process of ageing."
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) backs the use of sodium benzoate in the UK and it has been approved by the European Union, but last night MPs called for it to investigate urgently.
Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat chair of Parliament's all- party environment group said: "Many additives are relatively new and their long-term impact cannot be certain. This preservative clearly needs to be investigated further by the FSA. …