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Say It Ain't So -- A Can of Soda a Day Can Increase the Risk of Cancer for Men by 40 Percent?

A new medical study poses huge questions for the future of soft drinks.

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But these seem like semantic scientific arguments. The druggists and other whitecoats who created sodas, as well as the power suits who capitalize on their formidable market in industry and government, can mount infinitely regressive causality arguments until their nest eggs are well feathered by soda cancer's complexities. But the hyperconsuming public they've encouraged will inevitably wake to a day when those same parties, who once told them it was just fine to drink Cokes to teach the world to sing, are instead saying they should worry about having only months to live, because they drank too many Cokes a day to teach the world to sing.

"With all usual scientific caution being said, since we do not have the possibility to perform randomized clinical trials investigating the long-term impact of soda consumption, we do have to rely on the evidence at hand," Drake added. "And given that it can be stated with certainty that there are no health benefits with drinking soda -- in fact, evidence suggest negative impact on health -- public health measures should be taken, perhaps to a much greater extent than they are today, to limit consumption."

In other words, until both its pushers and users acquiesce to new economic and political normals, soda is to be known as a side route to cancer.

Until then, the soda industry plans on cashing as many checks as it takes to keep its product on the tip of your tongue. Or issuing them, in the case of pop diva  Beyonce, who scored $50 million large to hawk Pepsi to her image-conscious base. That industry chess move might not be worth the money: With increasingly lethal public health risk comes  slipping soda sales and changing demographics and tastes. Youth addicts who once turned to tankers of sodas are  turning to coffee for caffeine and sugar fixes, or even back to water to purify their bodies and consciences.

All of this makes soda a 20th century commodity on inevitable life support in our still-new millennium. Let's drink to that.

Scott Thill runs the online mag His writing has appeared on Salon, XLR8R, All Music Guide, Wired and others.
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