The cancer-causing chemical benzene has been found in some soft drinks but not at high enough levels to cause harm.

The agency said it asked manufacturers to minimize or eliminate benzene levels in their products. All of the makers contacted have reformulated the drinks or are in the process of doing so, FDA officials said.
The agency tested samples of soft drinks and other beverages from November 2005 through April 2006. Most products had very low levels of benzene or none that was detected.

The drinks with benzene exceeding five parts per billion were certain lots of Safeway Inc.'s Safeway Select Diet Orange; Cadbury Schweppes Plc's Crush Pineapple; Giant Light Cranberry Juice Cocktail, sold by Ahold unit Giant Food Inc.; Meridian Beverage Co.'s AquaCal Strawberry Flavored Water Beverage, and Kraft Food Inc.'s Crystal Light Sunrise Classic Orange.

Benzene can form in soft drinks that contain vitamin C and chemicals called benzoate salts when they are exposed to light or high temperatures, the FDA said.

Benzene has been also found in several foods, such as Bananas, ground beef, cheese, butter, eggs, avocados and popsicles. The FDA has not issued health concerns for those foods either.