Ice Plus Hill Equals Slippery Slope

Should manufacturers be allowed to add cancer-fighting enzymes to processed foods?

That is the question that this post at The Toronto Star is saying the Government is asking.

The additive in question is already permitted in the United States, Australia, China, Russia, Denmark, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore and Switzerland.

Health Canada will accept public comments on the proposal until Feb. 21, 2010.

Why the addition?

The enzyme – asparaginase – would be added to baked and fried foods made from grains or potatoes. Asparaginase is known to help counter a chemical called acrylamide, which is a natural by-product of cooking plant-based foods that are rich in carbohydrates but low in protein, like French fries and similar snacks.

Acrylamide has the unfortunate reputation of causing cancer in laboratory animals.

To read the full story at The Star, use the link near the top of this post.

Let me know what you think of this topic by leaving a comment.

My comment? Quit eating snack foods.

(Further info on acrylamide is available at the Health Canada site)

One Comment

  1. Laura Armstrong says:

    Dear Sir,

    I thank you for having written an article about asparaginase as I have, personally, been hoping for more public momentum against Health Canada’s proposal and trying to urge our health officials to wait for further scientific research. You have probably seen the article by the same journalist in this weekend’s Star (Feb.27). One must add to that information the following: (1)that used as a chemotherapy drug, the enzyme asparaginase has many common (over 30% of patients) side effects that are quite serious and that it is something that must be administered in hospital settings under the supervision of a physician; (2)that the genetically engineered enzyme asparaginase functions by destroying an aminio acid essential to cell life (which is why, as a chemotherapy drug, it is used in a limited manner and not an ongoing manner); (3)that the neurotoxin acrylamide to which we are being exposed in food, and which Health Canada and its corporate petitioners are stating is “natural by-product”, is also a principle additive in the number 1 crop herbicide used on the planet (please see 2002 article by Professor of Genetics UofWestern Ontario: ); (4)that, while it is being spun as concerning only junk food, some old CBC articles report also olives, dried fruit … I would imagine that anything that has received herbicide.

    And if you agree with me that there should be more public scrutiny of the issue, help spread the word.