Carcinogen in French Fries
Puts Scare in Food Industry

Bad news about french fries puts scare in food industry
Los Angeles Times
Wednesday, June 26, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle.


A new round of tests showing high levels of a suspected carcinogen in
french fries and other starchy snack foods is throwing a scare into the
food industry.

Fearing panic among consumers and slumping sales as a result, industry
officials are conducting their own tests and putting out statements
intended to calm fears that acrylamide, a substance that causes cancer
in animals, might pose a human health risk in food.

The latest tests, conducted by the Center for Science in the Public
Interest and disclosed Tuesday, echo the findings of a Swedish
government study in April that showed high levels of acrylamides -- a
substance used to make plastics and purify water -- in french fries,
potato chips and other starchy food cooked at high temperatures.

The World Health Organization is holding a special meeting of scientists
this week at its headquarters in Geneva to discuss the results of
research done in Sweden, Norway and Britain, and set priorities for
further research. It is expected to make recommendations to food
agencies and consumers on Thursday.

Representatives of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are attending
the meeting, and FDA officials said they had begun testing for
acrylamide in food from "a variety of products and sources."

However, the agency said, it is not cautioning consumers to steer clear
of any particular products. Instead, until further recommendations are
made by the World Health Organization, the FDA is urging consumers to
eat foods from a "wide variety of sources."

The findings of the Swedish government study in April took the industry
by surprise.

Since then, food companies have begun doing their own testing. Many have
also found the chemical, although they have not found it in levels as
high as those pinpointed overseas, said Gene Grabowski of the Grocery
Manufacturers of America.

Acrylamide appears to be formed by a chemical reaction during cooking.
The highest levels of acrylamide have been found in starchy foods cooked
at high temperature, such as french fries and potato chips.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has already begun using
the research to further its nutrition mission. It's urging consumers to
cut back on starchy snack foods.

"There has long been reason for Americans to eat less greasy french
fries and snack chips," says Michael Jacobson, the center's executive
director. "Acrylamide is yet another reason."

San Francisco Chronicle. Page A - 2

Home | News | Organics | GE Food | Health | Environment | Food Safety | Fair Trade | Peace | Farm Issues | Politics
Español | Campaigns | Buying Guide | Press | Search | Donate | About Us | Contact Us

Organic Consumers Association - 6771 South Silver Hill Drive, Finland MN 55603
E-mail: Staff · Activist or Media Inquiries: 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652
Please support our work. Send a tax-deductible donation to the OCA

Fair Use Notice: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.