Inadequate Warning of the Carcinogenic Ethylene Oxide in Food - Medical Practice

Carcinogen: ethylene oxide in ice cream

In the past few months, several foods containing sesame seeds contaminated with ethylene oxide have been recalled. It is now known that additive E410 (gum bean) is frequently contaminated with harmful disinfectants. This is mainly used in ice cream. Research by Foodwatch has now shown that there is not enough warning in Germany about the carcinogen in ice cream.

“Bread mix recall”, “Health risks from snacks”, “Toxic residues in baked goods”, “Health risks from pesticides”: In recent months, more and more products in which ethylene oxide has been detected have been recalled. This substance is considered carcinogenic. But despite the many recalls, there is still not enough warning in this country about the substance in food.

Hazardous substance in food

Like the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in a Opinion He writes, monitoring authorities in countries have measured residues of the hazardous substance ethylene oxide in sesame seed-containing products from India such as bars, snacks or in some cases salad toppings. Affected products were recalled by food companies.

However, the public in Germany is rarely warned about ethylene oxide contaminated ice cream. This is evidenced by research conducted by Foodwatch, such as the consumer organization in the mainstream Message mentioned.

Although, according to experts, ice cream products in particular were tainted with the carcinogen across Europe, only six generic products were recalled in Germany. According to foodwatch, this is significantly lower than in other EU countries.

According to the information, nearly 1,000 ice cream products have been publicly recalled in France since the beginning of June, in Luxembourg more than 250, and in Slovenia about 100. In Poland and Italy, 32 and 15 ice cream products, respectively, have been removed from the shelves.

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Reselling contaminated products in Germany

In the European Union there is a complete ban on the use of ethylene oxide in plant protection products. The active ingredient for disinfection is allowed in biocidal products, but without contact with food. Ethylene oxide is mutagenic and carcinogenic, BfR demonstrates.

“A carcinogen like ethylene oxide has no place in our food,” says Foodwatch campaign manager Oliver Huizinga.

“While hundreds of ice cream products are publicly recalled due to ethylene oxide in countries such as France, Slovenia and Luxembourg,” consumers in this country remain largely in the dark — even though the federal government, along with other European Union countries, is recalling Systematically everyone has approved contaminated products. The case shows that the requirements of European health protection are only inadequately implemented in Germany! “

He recently came across a file I remember ice cream A recall of Froneri Austria GmbH was reported due to exposure to ethylene oxide. This company, a joint venture between Nestlé and R&R Icecream, has also pulled ice cream products from Smarties or Oreo brands in countries such as Spain, France and Poland. But in Germany, the affected products have been sold out, according to foodwatch.

Waste is generally unwanted

As reported by the Consumer Organization, it became known at the beginning of June that not only sesame but also large amounts of the widely used additive E410 (locust bean gum), which is used in ice cream as a thickener or stabilizer, was contaminated with ethylene. oxide.

According to an EU member states agreement in July, all food containing E410 contaminated must be recalled – even if the detection limit has not been exceeded in the final processed product.

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According to the BfR, there is no guideline value without health risks and residues in food are generally undesirable. (ad)

Author and source information

This text complies with the requirements of the specialized medical literature, clinical guidelines and current studies and has been examined by medical professionals.

important note:
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.

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