- Public health attorneys in California have potato chip
makers in their sights for not listing a cancer-causing chemical present
in many brands.
- That chemical is acrylamide. It is an industrial chemical
used in plastics, pesticides and sewage treatment that also can occur when
starchy foods, such as chips, are processed at high temperatures.
- The World Health Organization has said acrylamide may
be responsible for up to one-third of all cancers caused by diet, as demonstrated
by laboratory animal studies. Acrylamide is already on California's list
of chemicals known to cause cancer, but some chipmakers haven't listed
it on their product packaging as required by Proposition 65 statute.
- The attorneys have filed Proposition 65 notices with
the manufacturers of Lays, Pringles, Kettle Chips and Cape Cod chips. Research
has shown those brands have unsafe levels of acrylamide in some of their
chip varieties. The study looked at one ounce servings, which ranged from
11 to 20 chips depending on the brand, and determined the acrylamide content
was substantially more than the 0.2 micrograms per day amount which prompts
the Proposition 65 warning.
- The brands tested and cited for high levels of acrylamide
are: Lay's Baked!, Lay's Stax BBQ, Lay's KC Masterpiece. Lay's Natural
Country Barbecue, Lay's Light KC Barbecue Masterpiece, Pringles Snack Stacks
(Pizzalicious Flavor), Pringles Sweet Mesquite BBQ, Kettle Chips Lightly
Salted, Kettle Chips Honey Dijon, Cape Cod Robust Russet and Cape Cod Classic
- Processed food manufacturers have reportedly asked Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger for a exemption to Proposition 65 labeling for foods
with carcinogens caused by heat processing. The governor's office is expected
to announce its decision by August.