Beer Info FAQ

Is root beer still made with sassafras?

Is root beer still made with sassafras?

While sassafras is no longer used in commercially produced root beer and is sometimes replaced with artificial flavors, natural extracts with the safrole distilled and removed are available.

Why is sassafras root illegal?

Well, sassafras and sarsaparilla both contain safrole, a compound recently banned by the FDA due to its carcinogenic effects. Safrole was found to contribute to liver cancer in rats when given in high doses, and thus it and sassafras or sarsaparilla-containing products were banned.