Issue Date: February 5, 2007
In the letter to the editor from James Coughlin, in which he minimizes the dangers of acrylamides in food, there was no indication that he had been hired by the opponents of legislation that is designed to warn people of the potential cancer-producing effect of acrylamides (C&EN, Nov. 13, 2006, page 5).
The issue is whether food containing acrylamides should be labeled as such. Studies that show a positive aspect of the presence of acrylamides in reducing cancer are cited by Coughlin. Regardless of whether you choose to believe this study or that one, none of these recent studies can truly assess the long-term effects. It is up to each one of us to decide if and how much we want to eat of any product that contains potentially toxic ingredients.
I do not want Coughlin or those who support him in this area to work against my and my children's best interest by lobbying the government to restrict labeling laws that will allow me to discriminate either for or against a food product.
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