At least California’s attorney general got one thing correct in his recent Open Forum article (“Junk food and junk science,” Oct. 17). Someone is “peddling junk science” in the debate over food-borne acrylamide. His name is Bill Lockyer.
Food-borne acrylamide poses no risk to Californians’ health. The chemical occurs naturally when starchy foods are exposed to heat (be they bread or french fries). But humans would have to eat more than 182 pounds of fries — every day, for the rest of their lives — in order to have the same cancer risk suffered by lab rats in published studies.
Besides, acrylamide is also plentiful in olives, almonds, asparagus, spinach, beets and prune juice. Scaring Americans about these foods will only steer them away from vital nutrients and leave consumers confused about legitimate health threats. For that, Lockyer should be ashamed.