Four major potato chip makers have agreed to use less of the carcinogen Acrylamide under a settlement with the California Attorney General’s office. Frito-Lay, Heinz, Kettle Foods, and Lance Inc. also agreed to pay a $3 million fine for flouting state laws that require companies to place warning labels on products with carcinogens.
Acrylamide forms naturally when starchy foods are baked or fried. Studies have shown the chemical, which also has industrial uses, causes cancer in lab animals and nerve damage to workers who are exposed to high levels. The Food and Drug Administration is researching whether acrylamide in food poses a health risk.
”Everybody’s trying to figure out how to lower levels (of acrylamide) without significantly, adversely affecting taste,” said Michele Corish, an attorney for Lance, which produces Cape Cod chips.
Corish said the modified snacks will be available nationwide. Messages left with the other three companies were not immediately returned Friday night.
The attorney general’s office said the levels of acrylamide in most Cape Cod chips are already near the compliance level as defined by the settlement. However, Brown said Cape Cod Robust Russets contain 25 times the acceptable amount.
Corish said ”Robust Russets” chips are no longer being sold.
Pringles was not included in the settlement because they are not potato chips, and Proctor & Gamble along with McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and KFC agreed back in 2005 to either “properly label their products or lower levels of the chemical.”
Settlement will reduce carcinogens in potato chips [AP]