LONDON: Tests in the United Kingdom on some of the leading brands of biscuits, potato chips and baby food showed raised levels of a chemical linked to cancer, a report in Daily Mail said.
The latest products on the danger list include Kettle Chips, Burts crisps, Hovis, Fox’s biscuits, Kenco coffee, McVitie’s and products from Cow & Gate.
According to the Food Standards Agency, 25 products have raised levels of acrylamide. Animal studies suggest the chemical can trigger DNA mutations and cancer.
The report said that the link to acrylamide was also behind the warning over fried, roasted and toasted foods such as potatoes and bread.
The agency cautioned that any risk to humans related to lifetime consumption and not occasional eating.
However, a renowned statistician yesterday insisted the link to cancer in humans from acrylamide was extremely weak.
‘There is no good evidence of harm from humans consuming acrylamide in their diet,’ said Professor David Spiegelhalter.
The FSA and other watchdogs in Europe test supermarket food to assess whether acrylamide levels are above a suggested limit – IV, for indicative value.
Of 526 products in targeted tests in 2014 and 2015, 25 had raised levels. Although the agency is not advising consumers to stop eating the products, the manufacturers have been told to cut the levels.
The FSA said: ‘For all of these samples we followed up with the manufacturers or brand owners via local authority inspectors.
‘They alerted them to the findings and requested information about what is being done to control acrylamide in those products.
‘We would emphasise though that the indicative values are not legal maximum limits nor are they safety levels.
‘They are performance indicators and designed to promote best practice in controlling acrylamide levels.’