HL Deb 02 December 2002 vol 641 cc78-9WA
Lord Harrison

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, as suggested by David Byrne, the European Union Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, there is a potential risk of cancer to consumers, especially children, from frozen chips and crisps containing the chemical Acrylamide. [HL114]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

Acrylamide has been found to occur in a wide range of home-cooked and processed foods, including chips and crisps. It has not been found in uncooked or boiled foods, and appears to be formed during cooking by methods such as frying and baking.

Acrylamide has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals. However, this it not a new risk as it is likely that we have been exposed to acrylamide in food for generations.

The Food Standards Agency is commissioning research and surveillance to ascertain the reason for, and extent of, acrylamide formation, but in the meantime has advised that on the basis of current evidence people should eat a balanced diet, including a variety of fruit and vegetables, and that as part of a balanced diet people should moderate their consumption of fried and fatty foods.

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