Authorities move to assess acrylamide threat

International organisations rule out pollution link, plan consultations to fill knowledge gaps

International organisations have issued initial responses to last week's announcement by Swedish researchers of high levels of acrylamide in fried and baked foods. Any link with industrial pollution is being ruled out. The emphasis is being put on more research before definitive conclusions are drawn about dietary advice.

Acrylamide has been classified as a probable human carcinogen. Used in the manufacture of plastics it has previously been a focus of concern over contamination of drinking water. However, the high levels in food found by Swedish researchers appear to have been formed spontaneously during cooking (EED 24/04/02).

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