April 21, 2018

Advocates Want to Ban Possible Carcinogenic Additive in Bread

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) wants to ban a chemical used in many fast food breads. Azodicarbonamide is used to make bread and is included in the rolls McDonald’s and Arby’s sell. Subway recently banned the chemical from their bread. Other companies that use this chemical to make their bread include Starbucks, Wendy’s, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, other restaurants, and grocery store chains.

Cold Cut SandwichSchumer said in a statement, “many countries in the developed world have banned this toxic chemical from food products, and it’s time for the U.S. to follow suit. While Subway should be commended for removing it voluntarily, it shouldn’t have even been a choice in the first place. The FDA needs to take another look at this chemical and make sure that the thing that makes our rubber rubbery is not also making our food carcinogenic.”

Azodicarbonamide is used in shoes, yoga mats, and other products to keep them from getting hard. It increases the elasticity of bread and is used as a dough conditioner and flour bleaching agent. But when azodicarbonamide is heated, it forms trace amounts of semicarbazide, which is a carcinogen. It also forms urethane, another recognized carcinogen. A 1999 report published by the World Health Organization suggested that azodicarbonamide can induce asthma. That report also says there is not enough “adequate data” on the safety or risks of azodicarbonamide to evaluate possible risks to human health.

The FDA states that at this time, azocarbonamide is safe to add to flour in amounts not to exceed 45 parts per million. Senator Schumer wants to have the compound removed under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act’s Delany Clause, which bans any amount of any carcinogenic substance from the food supply. The Center for Science in the Public Interest also wants to see this compound banned from the food supply.

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