Well, we already knew they were bad nutritionally!

Cancer Risk Found in French Fries, Bread

By Peter Starck

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Basic foods eaten by millions around the world such as bread, biscuits, potato chips and french fries contain alarmingly high quantities of acrylamide, a substance believed to cause cancer, Swedish scientists said on Wednesday.

The research carried out at Stockholm University in cooperation with experts at Sweden’s National Food Administration, a government food safety agency, showed that heating of carbohydrate-rich foods, such as potatoes, rice or cereals formed acrylamide, a much studied substance classified as a probable human carcinogen.
The research was deemed so important that the scientists decided on the unusual step of going public with their findings before the research had been officially published in an academic journal.

“I have been in this field for 30 years and I have never seen anything like this before,” said Leif Busk, head of the food administration’s research department.

Findings unveiled at a news conference called by the food administration showed that an ordinary bag of potato chips may contain up to 500 times more of the substance than the top level allowed in drinking water by the World Health Organization (news - web sites).

French fries sold at Swedish franchises of U.S. fast-food chains Burger King Corp and McDonald’s contained about 100 times the one microgram per liter maximum permitted by the WHO for drinking water, the study showed.

One milligram, or 0.001 grams, contains 1,000 micrograms.


The Environmental Protection Agency (news - web sites) classifies acrylamide, a colorless, crystalline solid, as a medium hazard probable human carcinogen.

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, acrylamide induces gene mutations and has been found in animal tests to cause benign and malignant stomach tumors.

It is also known to cause damage to the central and peripheral nervous system.

“The discovery (news - web sites) that acrylamide is formed during the preparation of food, and at high levels, is new knowledge. It may now be possible to explain some of the cases of cancer caused by food,” Busk said.

“Fried, oven-baked and deep-fried potato and cereal products may contain high levels of acrylamide,” the administration said.

“Acrylamide is formed during the preparation of food and occurs in many foodstuffs…Many of the analyzed foodstuffs are consumed in large quantities, e.g. potato crisps, french fries, fried potatoes, biscuits and bread.”

Among products analyzed in the study were potato chips made by Finnish company CHIPS ABP, whose shares fell 14.5 percent to six-month lows, as well as breakfast cereals made by U.S. Kellogg, Quaker Oats Co, part of PepsiCo Inc, and Swiss Nestle, and Old El Paso brand tortilla chips.

“For us, these are completely new findings which have never before been known to the world’s foodstuffs industry,” CHIPS ABP said in a statement to the Helsinki stock exchange.

Stefan Eriksson, marketing manager Burger King’s subsidiary in Sweden, told Reuters by telephone: “We have received the information and we are evaluating what it will mean.”

Spokesmen for the other companies mentioned in the research were not immediately available for comment.


Margareta Tornqvist, an associate professor at Stockholm University’s department of environmental chemistry, said the consumption of a single potato crisp could take acrylamide intake up to the WHO maximum for drinking water.

Busk said, however, that the product analysis based on more than 100 random samples was not extensive enough for the administration to recommend the withdrawal of any products from supermarket shelves.

“Frying at high temperatures or for a long time should be avoided,” Busk said, adding: “Our advice to eat less fat-rich products such as french fries and crisps, remains valid.”

He said the findings applied worldwide, not only to Sweden, as the food raw materials used in the analyzes had showed no traces of acrylamide.

Swedish authorities had informed the European Commission (news - web sites) and EU member countries, Busk said.

“It is the first time we have come across such a result. We will evaluate this study and look at it but it is important to say that Sweden has not withdrawn any products from the market,” said European Commission spokeswoman Beate Gminder.

“Therefore we’ll have to see what the scientific evaluation by our side and by scientists in the member states will bring about,” she said.

Liliane Abramsson-Zetterberg, a toxicologist at the Swedish food administration, said: “The cancer risk from acrylamide is much higher than (the levels) we accept for known carcinogens.”

But smoking, which is known to cause cancer, remained a bigger risk, she said.

…thing that make you go “Hmmmm.”

Bump…just wanted everyone to get a chance to read.

acrylamide per kilo (mikrogram)

potato chips: 330-2300, median 980
french fries: 300-1100, median 410
cookies: 30-640, median 280
corn: 120-180, median 150
soft bread: 30-160, median 50
fried food: 30-60, median 40
cereals: 30-1400, median 160

All Bran plus (Kellog´s): 99
Special (Kellog´s): 269

From http://www.aftonbladet.se/vss/ nyheter/story/0,2789,158551,00.html

Background of the story: The Swedish company Banverket (who are responsible for all the

railroads in Sweden) started to build a railroad tunnel at a placed called Hallandsåsen here

in Sweden 1993. Things didn’t work out that great. People who worked with the tunnel building

started to feel ill and cows in the area got sick. They found out that the stuff that they

used to seal the tunnel walls (to prevent water from entering the tunnel) was full of

acrylamide. One of the biggest enviroment catastrophes in Sweden. Anyway, the scientists who

investigated the thing noticed that people who hadn’t been in the tunnel area also had high

values of acrylamide in their bodies. The scientists found out

that fried food (especially food rich in carbs) was full of acrylamide.

I don't think that it's a really big problem for T-mag readers because the most of us don't eat shit

like potato chips and french fries, but the NAAFA guys should watch out… :wink: Oh, and btw, the smoke of a normal cigarette contains about 5 mg of acrylamide.

(please bear with my english, it's my third language and I'm still 16)

holy cow-this is really insane…the amount of fried food + carbs i used to eat before t-mag and gettin my ass in gear was insane…i’m surprised more people haven’t expressed greater surprise at this article…btw your english is fine dude

"Research confirming that a potentially cancer-causing chemical is produced by some cooking methods is published today (17 May 2002) by the Food Standards Agency.

The FSA study replicates the findings of Swedish research published last month, which found high levels of acrylamide in a wide variety of fried and baked foods."

http://www.foodstandards.gov.uk/ news/newsarchive/65268