Osama or Potato Chips: Which is More Dangerous?

Okay, you can’t really compare them, but it’s a catchy headline. The following is from Dr. Joseph Mercola at Mercola.com. I’ve been reading his newsletter for about a year now, and while I don’t subscribe to most of his dietary suggestions (I’m no food puritan) I appreciate that he is providing information on food that does not get much play in the mainstream media.

The Most Dangerous Potato Chips to Eat

Public knowledge of the serious dangers found in potato chips may finally be surfacing. The California-based Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) has filed notices with the state’s attorney general against potato chip manufacturers:

Lay’s potato chip maker PepsiCo Inc.
Pringles maker Proctor & Gamble Co.
Cape Cod potato chip parent Lance Inc.
Kettle Chips maker Kettle Foods Inc.

… that would require them to place labels on their products warning consumers about the high levels of acrylamide found inside. Acrylamide is formed when starchy foods are baked or fried at high temperatures and is considered a cancer-causing chemical by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

Manufacturers who sell their products without such warnings are in violation of California law, California Proposition 65.

[...]

What Do the Chip Makers Have to Say?

The reaction from the chip makers was on the defensive … though the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) wavering position on the dangers of acrylamide certainly doesn’t help.

Perhaps the FDA should review the report developed by the ELF that listed just how far various chip brands exceeded the state’s required warning levels for acrylamide. The offenders include:

Cape Cod Robust Russet: 910 times
Kettle Chips (lightly salted): 505 times
Kettle Chips (honey dijon): 495 times
Pringles Snack Stacks (pizza-flavored): 170 times
Lay’s Baked: 150 times

The California Attorney General sued the potato chip makers in August of 2005. There is no further news on the case, so I assume it is in process and an outcome is pending.

For those who like to go from point to counterpoint, here is a rebuttal.

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One response

  1. The Food & Drug Administration’s wavering position is a classic example of “let the chips fall where they may.” What a bunch of dips!

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