Companies Agree To Cut Cancer-Causing Chemicals In Potato Chips

Posted on August 5, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

The state of California has settled lawsuits against Heinz, Frito-Lay, Kettle Foods and Lance Inc. after the companies agreed to slash levels of the cancer-causing chemical acrylamide in their potato chips and French fries.
“The companies agreed to reduce this carcinogenic chemical in fried potatoes — a victory for public health and safety in California,” said Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. “Other companies should follow this lead and take steps to reduce acrylamide in french fries and potato chips.”
In 2005, the attorney general sued McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, KFC, Frito-Lay, Kettle Foods, Lance, Procter & Gamble and Heinz, for selling potato chips and French fries containing high levels of acrylamide, a chemical known to the state to cause cancer.
Acrylamide is a by-product of frying, roasting and baking foods — particularly potatoes — that contain certain amino acids. In 2002, Swedish scientists discovered high levels of cancer-causing acrylamide in fried potato products.
Frito-Lay will pay $1.5 million in penalties and costs, $550,000 will be forgiven if it can reduce acrylamide in its products in half the time required by the settlement. It will pay an additional $2 million if it fails to reduce acrylamide in the required time. Kettle Foods will pay $350,000 in penalties and costs, while the much smaller Lance, Inc., will pay $95,000 in fees and costs.
The state also reached agreement with Heinz, Inc., the manufacturer of Ore-Ida frozen French fries and tater tots, which will pay $600,000 in penalties and costs and will change its fried potatoes to contain 50 percent less acrylamide.
Brown said he will work with the companies to find a way to effectively give consumers information about the acrylamide in their products, while at the same time preventing undue public alarm and unnecessary warning signs concerning foods that contain insignificant amounts of the chemical.
Read full from consumeraffairs

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