There's been a scary rumor going around that one of Starbucks' most popular fall drinks contains ingredients that could kill you. If it's true, that's terrible - and even deadly - news for millions of people. So, is it safe?
It turns out those rumors are just that. They stem from an image going around the Web claiming that the product contains no real pumpkin and also includes a carcinogenic color additive called Caramel Color (Class IV). It also says the product includes high-fructose corn syrup.
Also at issue is whether Pumpkin Spice Lattes contain high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a sweetener present in many sodas and commercial baked goods. Starbucks has indicated that HFCS may be present in some drinks due to manufacturing variations. According to a Starbucks spokeswoman, Pumpkin Spice Latte drinks purchased at Starbucks outlets are sweetened with sugar, not HFCS.
The drink does contain caramel coloring, but the FDA says it's safe. The one thing the rumor has right is the lack of actual pumpkin in your latte. But, this doesn't make it deadly. It'd be difficult to make a latte drink using real pumpkins because they would change the drink's consistency, so Starbucks uses artificial flavoring. You can find a full list of the drink's syrup ingredients here.
I wouldn't say the drink is healthy - it's still loaded with sugar - but it's a safe go to treat when you're craving some pumpkin spice flavor in your coffee.