"There is no compelling evidence which supports today's claim by Swedish researchers that fried or baked foods high in starch introduces chemicals which increase the risk of human cancer," according to the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), a nonprofit, consumer education consortium of physicians and scientists based in New York City.
"We are deeply concerned that Americans will unnecessarily worry about safe, nutritious foods after hearing today's news," said Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan, President of ACSH.
"The claim that acrylamide, found in common foods such as potatoes and bread, after cooking, poses a human cancer risk is based exclusively on high dose studies in laboratory animals. There is no evidence whatever that humans who eat the observed levels of acrylamide are exposed to any risk of any type of cancer," noted Dr. Whelan.
"Over the past thirty years, scientists have become far more sophisticated in interpreting the findings of high dose animal ingestion studies," Dr. Whelan added, "indeed the more we test naturally occurring chemicals present in food, the more we note that they, too, can increase cancer risk in the laboratory but we have no reason to believe they play a role in the causation of human cancer. "ACSH publishes a typical holiday menu
of natural foods from soup to nuts, noting that if Thanksgiving dinner were subject to food scares about "animal carcinogens" even natural foods would be banned." (see ACSH HOLIDAY DINNER MENU 2003)
"ACSH does not reject the role of animal testing in predicting human cancer risk, but it is important to note that animal tests on one or two species do not provide convincing evidence of human cancer risk," observed Dr. Gilbert Ross, ACSH's Medical Director.
"Food is a highly emotional subject," said Dr. Whelan, "and the news reports resulting from the alarmist study only proves that a rumor about food safety can be half way around the world before the truth gets its boots on."
ACSH urges consumers to evaluate the news about 'carcinogens' in potatoes, bread and other food with great skepticism. "
There is no evidence whatever that chemicals in the American diet whether from natural or synthetic sources contribute to the toll of human cancer in the United States."
For more information about ACSH, please visit www.acsh.org
The American Council on Science and Health is a consortium of over 350 physicians and scientists, dedicated to separating health facts from health fears.
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