Industry News | August 29, 2005

California Files Suit on French Fry Health Risks

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California Attorney General Bill Lockyer sought an injunction in a Los Angeles Superior Court Friday to keep chains like McDonald's Corp. and Wendy's International from selling fries without identifying the dangers of high levels of acrylamide, a chemical studies have found is created when starchy foods are cooked at high heat.

Producers of potato chips, such as PepsiCo's Frito-Lay Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co., were also named in the suit, which alleges the companies have violated a 1986 state law requiring them to warn consumers about products that contain known carcinogens or reproductive toxins.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is still studying the impact of acrylamide levels in food. The chemical has been found to cause cancer in laboratory animals in high doses, but its affect on humans in lower doses found in food has yet to be determined, according to an FDA press release issued in March.