Filed Under: Food Scares

Canada’s Icy Reception For Acrylamide Lawsuits

You can almost hear Bob and Doug McKenzie, the famous Canadian duo from Strange Brew, calling California Attorney General Bill Lockyer a “hoser.” That’s essentially what the editorial pages of two leading Canadian newspapers have stated, scorning Lockyer’s lawsuits against nine restaurants and food companies for failing to “warn” customers that their fried potatoes contain trace amounts of a chemical called acrylamide (see here, here, and here for background on this mashed myth).

Of Lockyer’s lawsuits, the Montreal Gazette editorialized Monday: “It’s not an idea we would want Quebec to adopt.” [subscription required] It continued:

At first glance, labelling may seem prudent. But look again: There is actually no evidence that acrylamide in normal quantities harms humans. The lab rats that developed tumours ate thousands of times more of the stuff than even the greediest humans could ever consume … And it turns out that asparagus, bread, prune juice and breakfast cereal also contain the substance. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration found olives with five times more acrylamide than Burger King fries. But nobody is calling — yet — for olive labelling.

And in an editorial titled “Deep-fried mind control,” [subscription required] the Calgary Herald mocked Lockyer’s suits, and cautioned: “Don’t say we didn’t warn you when the Broccoli Police knock on your door to monitor what you’re having for dinner tonight.”

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