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August 29, 2005

Lawsuit Seeks Cancer Warning for Chips and Fries

Topics: Health Issues

food_french_fries.jpeg.jpg [In 2002, a Swedish National Food Authority study reported that acrylamide, an industrial agent used in food packaging and to treat sewage, occurred naturally in some starch-rich foods as a result of cooking or heat processing.]

Acrylamide, an industrial chemical that causes neurotoxicity in humans and an increase in benign tumors of the endocrine system of laboratory rats, and a byproduct of chemicals and high heat, has been found at low levels in several foods. A lawsuit is focusing on french fries and chips because they have been reported to have more acrylamide than other foods, although research studies appear to show mixed results, and at least one providing evidence for a lack of any important association between consumption of fried/baked potatoes and cancer risk.

(...) Potato chips and french fries could soon come with a warning label in California if the state's top attorney prevails in a lawsuit filed Friday against nine fast food chains and snack-food makers.

(...) Attorney General Bill Lockyer asked for a court order requiring McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Frito Lay and other companies to warn consumers that their fries and chips may contain acrylamide, a chemical the state says causes cancer.

(...)In taking this action, I am not telling people to stop eating potato chips or french fries," Lockyer said. "I know from personal experience that, while these snacks may not be a necessary part of a healthy diet, they sure taste good."

(...) But consumers should have the information needed to make informed decisions about their food, he said.

Does this mean that you should stop eating french fries and chips altogether, based on the California action and it's reference, the 2002 Swedish study? If you discount the research involving more than one million people that indicates that having high fasting serum glucose levels and diabetes are risk factors for several major cancers, according to a study in the January 2005 issue of JAMA, and that french fries have a relatively high glycemic index number (french fries = 75, glucose = 100)and therefore increase glucose levels rapidly, not exactly good for cancer or diabetes, and just consider the acrylamide issue alone, the risk is existent, but relatively small. However, you should at least consider that fact that the U.S. EPA and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have designated Acrylamide as a probable human carcinogen based on the bioassay data and evidence for a DNA reactive mechanism.

Related:
Food & Diet In Diabetes

Study Ties French Fries To Breast Cancer Risk

Posted by Richard at August 29, 2005 9:35 PM



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