California attorney general calls for acrylamide labels on foods
Americans may have plenty of reasons to fear French fries. While they are one of the country’s favorite foods, they are soaked with trans fats, loaded with sodium and full of simple carbs, the bad kind. And, it turns out, they are also full of a chemical called acrylamide, which is known to cause cancer in laboratory rats and mice.
Bill Lockyer, California’s attorney general, says that warning labels about acrylamide in fries and chips are intended to benefit everyone. That discovery a few years ago has raised questions about the safety of fries, as well as potato chips, which are also packed with acrylamide. It ultimately led to a showdown this summer over whether such foods should bear health warning labels and whether companies should be required to reduce acrylamide levels in their food.
The battle pits the activist attorney general of California against the food industry and FDA. What happens over the next few months could have a huge bearing on the eating habits of Americans, and may make a dent in the bottom lines of restaurants and food companies. French fries are the No. 1 consumed food in restaurants, according to the NPD Group, a research firm.
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