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The Grocery Manufacturers of America today supported the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's position that consumers should not make any changes to their diets based on current preliminary research that shows varying levels of the naturally occurring compound acrylamide in foods.

The FDA today released test results for acrylamide levels in a wide variety of foods during a meeting of the Contaminants and Natural Toxicants Subcommittee.

Acrylamide is a naturally occurring chemical compound formed in foods during the cooking process, at home, in restaurants or in a food-making plant. Leading health organizations including the FDA and the World Health Organization continue to say that there is no scientific evidence that acrylamide in food presents any known risks to human health. In a statement released along with the preliminary test results, the FDA said the information was being presented to the public in order to advance public and private research regarding acrylamide's formation and potential impact on human health.

"While acrylamide research currently underway poses new questions about its role in foods, it is important for consumers to know that there is no evidence that acrylamide in food presents any known risks to human health," said GMA Senior Scientific Advisor Sue Ferenc, DVM, Ph.D.

"Comprehensive research is underway to determine how acrylamide is formed in foods and if it poses any human health risk," added Ferenc. "In the absence of conclusive research, consumers should know there is absolutely no need to change their diets or to produce foods any differently."

Ferenc and FDA officials also noted that foods not tested for acrylamide are no more or less safe than other foods now on the market that may contain the compound. GMA continues to support ongoing WHO and FDA research efforts in order to determine the best course of action for consumers as well as for the food industry.
KC's View:
Wonder if this will change Mrs. Content Guy’s view on potato chips? She hasn’t allowed a chip in the house since the initial studies about acrylamides came out…though she hasn’t denied us French fries. (“Don’t want to be a fanatic,” she says.)

In general, we agree that the preliminary studies don’t suggest that people should change their diets. But we suspect that this story isn’t going to go away. How will the obesity lawsuits be affected if some day it is revealed that acrylamides are harmful, and both industry and government didn’t do anything about it? What will be the impact on “Big Food” then?