Sunday, August 28, 2005

Give me a break. And a medium fries.
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer is suing several manufacturers and distributors of french fries and potato chips, demanding that they warn consumers about a possible carcinogen contained in fried starchy foods:

"I know from personal experience that, while these snacks may not be a necessary part of a healthy diet, they sure taste good," Lockyer said in a statement. "But I, and all consumers, should have the information we need to make informed decisions about the food we eat."
Give me a break. If you don't know that french fries are unhealthy, then you don't deserve a warning. This is just absurd.


Exile said...

There is a big difference between knowing the fat content in french fries, and knowing they contain a carcinogen. If you think this service to public safety is so absurd, just what do you think would be a better use of the California Attorney General's attention?

Dave Justus said...

Everything contains carcinogens.

The air we breath contains carcinogens, and would even if there was no pollution at all.

As always, it is the dose that makes the poison.

RFTR said...

Furthermore, let's take a page from alarmist carcinogen history, and learn about Saccharin:

There have been worries about the safety of saccharin since its introduction. Even when Theodore Roosevelt was President of the United States, there was intense questioning regarding the safety of saccharin. Commenting on the questionable safety of saccharin, Theodore Roosevelt is purported to have said, "Anyone who thinks saccharin is dangerous is an idiot".

Throughout the 1960s, various studies suggested that saccharin might be an animal carcinogen. Concern peaked in 1977, after the publication of a study indicating a increased rate of bladder cancer in rats fed large doses of saccharin. In that year, Canada banned saccharin. The United States Food and Drug Administration also proposed a ban. At the time, saccharin was the only artificial sweetener available in the U.S., and the proposed ban met with strong public opposition, especially among diabetics. Eventually, the U.S. Congress placed a moratorium on the ban, requiring instead that all saccharin-containing foods display a warning label indicating that saccharin may be a carcinogen.

Many studies have since been done on saccharin, with some showing a correlation between saccharin consumption and increased cancer (especially bladder cancer) and others showing no such correlation. The notorious and influential studies of the kind published in 1977 have been criticized for the ridiculously high dosages of saccharin that were given to the test subject rats; dosages were commonly hundreds of times higher than "normal" ingestion expectations would be for a consumer. No study has ever shown health risks in humans at normal doses.

In 1991, after fourteen years, the FDA formally withdrew its 1977 proposal to ban the use of saccharin, and in 2000, the U.S. Congress repealed the law requiring saccharin products to carry health warning labels.

It has now been shown that, although saccharin does indeed cause cancer in lab rats, an equivalent dose in humans would be nearly impossible. In order to put enough saccharin into a human being before it dissapated, you would first cause death through explosion--you can't fit that much chemical in a person.

And, by the way, diet sodas contain the chemical that is active in several forms of nerve gas... how many people do you know whose nervous systems have shut down randomly, even after a lifetime of consuming diet sodas. According to your theory, exile, the AG should be much more concerned about nerve gas in diet sodas than some random carcinogen that is in every fried starch we eat...