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Swedish food research sparks European talks

21-May-2002

European health officials are in talks over research claiming many cooked foods contain high levels of a cancer-causing chemical, Ananova.com reports.

The Swedish study published last month caused a stir when it claimed that items made from corn, rice and potatoes pose the worst risk for the health.

Experts say we should not change the way we eat just yet because we have been exposed to the chemical for generations. They are calling for more research.

University of Stockholm scientists found levels of acrylamide in some crisps was 2,000 times higher than the legal limit.

The study found starch produces acrylamide when fried, baked or grilled, and suggested as many as 700 deaths per year in Sweden could be linked to it.

British scientists have now confirmed the findings and both sets of scientists are presenting their results to the Scientific Committee on Food in Brussels which advises the European Commission on food safety.

World Health Organisation experts will also discuss the research at a meeting in Geneva next month. They are expected to recommend further studies to obtain a clearer picture of the risks.

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