On Thursday May 31, 2007, U.S. District Judge Kathryn H. Vratil of the Kansas District Court denied the motions to dismiss of PepsiCo Inc. and privately held Sunny Delight Beverages Co. and Rockstar Inc. in litigation related to possible benzene exposure from drinking certain of the defendants’ soft drinks.

The plaintiffs claim that when certain soft drinks containing vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, and either sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate are exposed to light and heat that a reaction can form benzene in the beverages. In some cases, the plaintiffs contend that the result can be benzene levels four times higher than the federal drinking water standard.

The risks associated with trace benzene claims continues.