More regulations, but for a good cause this time.
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Crispy French fries and crunchy potato chips were never health foods, what with all the calories, fat and salt. But consumers just got a reminder that there’s one more thing to worry about when they indulge in such foods: a chemical called acrylamide that might cause cancer.
For more than a decade, scientists have known that acrylamide forms when potatoes, cereal grains and some other plant foods are browned through frying, baking or roasting. That means it shows up in fries, chips, breakfast cereals, toasted bread, cookies, crackers and even coffee. Studies show the chemical can cause cancer in rodents at high doses. In humans, the cancer risk remains unclear, but health agencies around the world are concerned and calling for more study.