A 37-year-old member asked:
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can sodium benzoate give you cancer?

1 doctor answer
Dr. Ed Friedlander
44 years experience Pathology
I don't believe it: Internet scare sites peddling "natural food" are allowed by law to make claims that any scientist will recognize as misleading. There's no shortage of benzoic acid in many fruits (famously cranberries) and it's chemically interchangeable with sodium benzoate varying only with ph. This alone should tell you that the danger is hyped -- if they believed their stuff, they'd attack cranberries.
Answered on Jan 25, 2014
1
1 comment
Dr. Ed Friedlander
44 years experience Pathology
Provided original answer
There was a hoopla a while back over sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid (vitamin C, added to phony orange drinks to make them "healthy", I suppose) possibly forming benzene if put in the hot sun. Benzene's a weak carcinogen and the amounts were miniscule. I wouldn't worry.
Jan 25, 2014

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