Filed Under: Snacks

Warning: you may be naturally immune to this food

The flap over Acrylamide — that chemical formed by cooking starchy foods and sugary vegetables — just got more interesting.

While unscientific know-it-alls like Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) deliver dire warnings that Acrylamide is a “nasty chemical” that “nobody wants in our food supply” [click here for audio], the journal Nature published a report last week suggesting that human beings might be immune to the chemical’s effects anyway.

Don Mottram of the UK’s University of Reading told Nature that humans “might be more tolerant” to Acrylamide than our neighbors in the animal kingdom. Nature notes that the chemical’s only cancerous effects were observed in rats and fruit flies, which “don’t eat heated food.” And besides, says Nature, lab animals only react negatively to Acrylamide when they are fed “concentrations 1,000 times higher than those found in an average diet.”

Well, it’s a good thing that’s settled. No harm, right? Don’t be so sure. The FDA is still testing over 150 food products in an effort to reduce Acrylamide levels “to the greatest extent feasible.” And CSPI, in its consistent style, in still carping about warning labels Talking about Acrylamide in a recent Financial Times story, CSPI’s Jacobson said that the FDA should consider “labeling products linked to cancer-causing agents.”

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