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Critics Say Skinnygirl Margarita Contains Preservative That Can Cause Cancer

SHERMAN OAKS (CBS) — A reality star's margarita mix may give you more than a buzz. Critics say Bethenny Frankel's Skinnygirl Margarita contains a preservative that can cause cancer.

Frankel, who is often seen signing bottles of her calorie-cutting cocktail, tweeted Friday she'd be starting off this beautiful weekend enjoying a Skinnygirl Margarita.

The bottle even reads Skinnygirl "the margarita you can trust." But major grocery retailer Whole Foods says not so fast. They've taken the product off store shelves.

In a statement released, the company said the Skinnygirl Margarita "had been offered in 16 of Whole Foods Market 310 stores. After discovering that it contains a preservative that does not meet our quality standards, we have had to stop selling it."

"Well now that I know that, I wouldn't buy them. I'm into obviously eating very healthy and organic," Nicole Prajer, a Whole Foods customer, told CBS2.

But we were still able to find the product at a BevMo! in Sherman Oaks.

And while it doesn't list the preservative sodium benzoate on the bottle, according to studies and nutritionists we spoke with, when that combines with an ascorbic acid -- like citrus -- it can form a carcinogen known as benzene.

"I know that that preservative is in a lot of food that we eat. I guess it doesn't sound like a very Whole Foods friendly item, so I guess if they are being true to their mission, I think it's OK that they pulled it off their shelves," said Lindsay Jones, another customer.

But true to 'Housewives' style, Frankel fired back.

"With all due respect to Whole Foods… they represent an infinitesimal fraction of our business. We represent the largest growing spirits brand in the US… and everyone tries to tear down a success. This is a non-event."

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