Daily Israel Report

A Coke-less Passover in California

Kosher for Passover Coca-Cola has been officially barred from California due to the state’s laws on toxic chemicals.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 4/9/2012, 9:23 AM

Kosher for Passover Coca-Cola in Israel
Kosher for Passover Coca-Cola in Israel
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Kosher for Passover Coca-Cola has been officially barred from California due to the state’s laws on toxic chemicals.

Coke was required to change the way it manufactures caramel to reduce levels of the chemical 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MEI, which California has listed as a carcinogen, The Associated Press reported. 

The resulting Passover version of the product, which uses sugar rather than corn syrup, did not meet with Jewish dietary laws, the company said.

The company noted that it expects to offer Kosher for Passover Coca Cola in California by 2013.

Executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, Jason Moss, relayed his disappointment in having to celebrate what the AP calls a “Cokeless Passover.”

“I think it would be wonderful for the community to be able to drink a Coke and have a smile,” he told the Pasadena Star-News.

Yet, for those who do need their dose of carbonated beverages to get them through the chametz-free holiday, there is hope, as some kosher stores have stocked Passover Coke from other states and, as the Jewish Federation's spokeswoman noted, there’s always Pepsi.