Warning: Dough of Doom, Tacos of Terror!

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You may recall hearing recently that the scare about French fries and cancer was nothing to worry about after all. This March 11 article explains why we shouldn't worry about the low levels of acrylamide we consume in foods. Not bad, given that ACSH's peer-reviewed report saying the same came out in February 2002.

But that hasn't stopped the plaintiff's lawyers. Today's San Diego Tribune reports that California will be releasing a draft of a proposed Proposition 65 warning label for acrylamide by the end of this month.

While new warning label requirements may be a boon to lawyers trying to make a buck off the latest scare, not everyone in California is happy. Businessman Ed Lee, a founder of the Wahoo's Fish Taco chain, told the San Diego Tribune that "each of his thirty-four locations...already has Proposition 65 alcohol and mercury/fish warnings posted near the cash register. Our wall is going to be filled with warnings. It's going to defeat the whole purpose," he said. "If people start seeing too many warnings on the wall, they might just turn away and decide that everything we serve causes cancer."

We agree with Mr. Lee. But if indeed Califonia does require acrylamide warning labels, you can be sure that ACSH will be keeping a close eye on our friends at Whole Foods Markets. Even "organic" bread has acrylamide, after all.

Jeff Stier is an associate director of the American Council on Science and Health.