California Attorney General Wants Warning Label on French Fries

Amused

Elite Member
Apr 14, 2001
55,962
14,399
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...and a big boost to knee-jerk reactionism ans junk science.

California Attorney General Wants Warning Label on French Fries
By TIM MOLLOY, AP

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 26) - Potato chips and french fries could soon come with a warning label if the state's top attorney prevails in a lawsuit filed Friday against nine fast food chains and snack-food makers.

Attorney General Bill Lockyer asked for a court order requiring McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Frito Lay and other companies to warn consumers that their fries and chips may contain acrylamide, a chemical the state says causes cancer.

"In taking this action, I am not telling people to stop eating potato chips or french fries," Lockyer said. "I know from personal experience that, while these snacks may not be a necessary part of a healthy diet, they sure taste good."

But consumers should have the information needed to make informed decisions about their food, he said.

Frito-Lay spokeswoman Lynn Markley said there was no scientific evidence that acrylamide caused cancer. She said it was counterproductive for the state to sue the companies when other California regulators are currently setting standards for the chemical under Proposition 65, which requires companies to notify the public about potentially dangerous toxins in food.

"We have been looking to the state regulators for direction on how to satisfy Proposition 65 due to the unexpected discovery of acrylamide in food products," she said.

Acrylamide, a byproduct of chemicals and high heat, has been found at low levels in several foods. The lawsuit focuses on french fries and chips because they have more acrylamide than other foods, according to the Attorney General's Office.

The state agency setting standards for the chemical, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, is considering two potential approaches, spokesman Allan Hirsch said.

The agency might set regulations providing more specifics about when warnings would be required. Or it might exempt businesses from placing warning labels on their foods if they agree to reduce the presence of the chemical to the lowest feasible level, he said.

Spokespersons for several defendants based in the Midwest or East did not return calls for comment Friday. The lawsuit was filed after business hours in their time zones.

Teresa Schilling, a spokeswoman for Lockyer, said that if the lawsuit was successful, the office would want to sit down with the defendants to decide how large the warning labels would be and where they would appear on packaging.

"We don't want the warning to be alarming or excessively large," she said. "We want it to be simple and effective and (we'll) be flexible about how it will work with each product."


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And now for facts, not junk science and fear mongering:

SPECIAL REPORT: Could Acrylamide Prevent Cancer?


Yesterday the British Journal of Cancer released a study, the first of its kind, that looked for a real-life (not just theoretical) connection between cancer rates and acrylamide-rich foods. The study, a cooperation between Harvard University and a Swedish research institute, found:

??consistently a lack of an[y] excess risk, or any convincing trend, of cancer of the bowel, bladder, or kidney in high consumers of 14 different food items with a high acrylamide content? [and] Unexpectedly, an inverse trend was found for large bowel cancer.?

Read that again: an inverse trend. That?s lab-coat talk for prevention. Could acrylamide actually prevent some types of cancer? The responsible answer is: we don?t know. What we do know for sure now, that we didn?t know for sure a week ago, is best summed up by Dr. Mucci in a British newswire story: ?Overall,? he says, ?this study provides preliminary evidence that there?s less to worry about than was thought.?

Last year, when Swedish scientists first announced that acrylamide -- described in some scientific circles as a ?probable? human carcinogen -- was found in starchy foods that are cooked at high temperatures, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) was quick to imagine a smoking gun in its jihad against French fries and potato chips, calling them ?contaminated? foods.

But now CSPI?s worst-case rhetoric has been shot full of holes, in a study whose lead researcher, Harvard?s Dr. Lorelei Mucci, tells MSNBC: ?The amount of acrylamide people are taking in is probably not sufficient to increase the risk of cancer.? CSPI would definitely have egg on its face today, were it not for all that darned cholesterol.

Unlike the responsible scientists at the USDA, who noted that the initial acrylamide findings ?were based on an analytical method that has yet to be validated,? CSPI jumped to the conclusion in 2002 that acrylamide already ?causes several thousand deaths in the U.S. each year.? As recently as two weeks ago, CSPI?s chief killjoy Michael Jacobson warned radio listeners in Canada (without any proof) that the chemical kills ?several hundred people a year, and tens of thousands of people over the lifetime of Canadians.?

Showing its true colors, CSPI attempted to jump-start a likely avalanche of litigation against restaurants and food producers based on the acrylamide-equals-cancer theory, colluding with California trial lawyers while keeping its fingerprints off of the legal papers. And CSPI has consistently demonized French fries while ignoring the copious evidence that certain vegetables (including spinach and beets) hold the greatest potential for acrylamide.

Of course, CSPI has hedged its bets by insisting all along that more research would be required before public health ?experts? begin demanding changes in the way we eat. It?s ironic, then, that CSPI is the loudest voice pooh-poohing the only acrylamide science to come along in months.

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Can you say fear mongering? I knew that you could...
 

Amused

Elite Member
Apr 14, 2001
55,962
14,399
146
Originally posted by: suse920
no more fries for me :)

Why? Did you not read this?

Yesterday the British Journal of Cancer released a study, the first of its kind, that looked for a real-life (not just theoretical) connection between cancer rates and acrylamide-rich foods. The study, a cooperation between Harvard University and a Swedish research institute, found:

??consistently a lack of an[y] excess risk, or any convincing trend, of cancer of the bowel, bladder, or kidney in high consumers of 14 different food items with a high acrylamide content? [and] Unexpectedly, an inverse trend was found for large bowel cancer.?
 

jadinolf

Lifer
Oct 12, 1999
20,952
3
81
Only in California.

California is like Massachusetts except the Kennedys don't own it.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
50,415
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136
Classic example of junk science being used for a political agenda.
 

JulesMaximus

No Lifer
Jul 3, 2003
74,468
866
126
Bill Lockyer and the rest of the liberal hippies up in Sacramento have been trying to pass stupid laws like this for years.

Balance the budget and be fiscally responsible? Nope, they're wasting time and the taxpayer's money on stupid crap like this.
 

moks78

Lifer
Jan 5, 2001
10,581
1
0
Another step in the pussification of America...
LOL! We're becoming the state of whiners and cry babies. Total waste of my tax dollar.

Why don't they study how to ease the traffic especially here in LA so my car and all other else are not polluting their "precious air " due to stop and go traffic in the freeway.

At least 30 mins one way is added to my everyday commute to work...that's a lot of wasted gasoline which adds up to higher oil importation. :|
 

Amused

Elite Member
Apr 14, 2001
55,962
14,399
146
Originally posted by: JulesMaximus
Bill Lockyer and the rest of the liberal hippies up in Sacramento have been trying to pass stupid laws like this for years.

Balance the budget and be fiscally responsible? Nope, they're wasting time and the taxpayer's money on stupid crap like this.

Sad, isn't it?
 

KarenMarie

Elite Member
Sep 20, 2003
14,372
6
81
there was a huge thread about this a while back. it was being compared to the same stupid thing that happened with apples way back when. for a while, it devistated the farmers and marketers. all for nothing.

 

Ronstang

Lifer
Jul 8, 2000
12,493
18
81
Originally posted by: Amused
Originally posted by: JulesMaximus
Bill Lockyer and the rest of the liberal hippies up in Sacramento have been trying to pass stupid laws like this for years.

Balance the budget and be fiscally responsible? Nope, they're wasting time and the taxpayer's money on stupid crap like this.

Sad, isn't it?


What is truly sad is that the morons in California keep voting these idiots into office. Is California even capable of producing a government official with a clue? I really do not think so as they are as stupid today as they were 30 years ago when I lived there....they never learn do they?