French-fry chemical may go on toxic list

From the Globe and Mail:

Worries that Canadians might be inadvertently ingesting too much cancer-causing acrylamide from French fries, potato chips and other processed foods has prompted Health Canada to recommend adding the chemical to the country’s toxic substances list.

Acrylamide is an industrial chemical that isn’t naturally found in foods, but is produced accidentally when sugars and other items in potatoes and grains are exposed to high cooking temperatures.

It has also been detected in breakfast cereals, pastries, cookies, breads, rolls, toast, cocoa products and coffee, although at levels far below those in fried potato products.

The decision to recommend placing acrylamide on the toxic list is being announced in today’s Canada Gazette, and is part of an ongoing review by the federal government of nearly two hundred potentially harmful substances in widespread commercial use that have never been subject to extensive safety assessments.