Hundreds of foods in U.S. contain 'ADA' plastics chemical: report

Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:05am EST

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(Reuters) - Nearly 500 foods found on grocery store shelves in the United States, including many foods labeled as "healthy," contain a potentially hazardous industrial plastics chemical, according to a report issued Thursday by a health research and advocacy group.

Azodicarbonamide, also known as ADA, was found as an ingredient in breads, bagels, tortillas, hamburger and hot dog buns, pizza, pastries, and other food products, according to a report by the Environmental Working Group, based in Washington.

Some consumer groups have called for the removal of azodicarbonamide from use in foods. Fast food chain Subway said earlier this month that it was removing the chemical from its products, but stated that ADA is a safe and widely used ingredient for many foods.

Azodicarbonamide is fully approved for use in food by the United States Food and Drug Administration and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. But ADA is banned as an additive in Australia and some European countries.

As a food additive, azodicarbonamide is used as a flour bleaching agent and as an oxidizing agent in dough to improve its performance for bakers. It is also used in plastics to improve elasticity and can be found in yoga mats and shoes.

The World Health Organization states that epidemiological studies in humans and other reports have produced "abundant evidence that azodicarbonamide can induce asthma, other respiratory symptoms, and skin sensitization" to people working with the chemical.

The Environmental Working Group said manufacturers should immediately end the use of ADA in food. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, a Democrat from New York, this month called on the FDA to ban ADA from foods.

The FDA states that azodicarbonamide can be used safely if the amount in flour does not exceed 2.05 grams per 100 pounds of flour or 45 parts per million.

(Reporting by Carey Gillam in Kansas City; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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Comments (5)
Skyliner wrote:

Feb 27, 2014 10:20am EST  --  Report as abuse
bluto1960 wrote:
lets all eat some FDA approved plastic

Feb 27, 2014 12:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
shorebird wrote:
Please keep on this topic, there is even more bad news below this one. When the EU first formed in 1997 98, and by the year 2000, EU authorities banned about 1000 chemicals for preventive or cautionary reasons. The FDA and EPA did nothing, zip, zero, nada, most still legal to use here in the US. But they have had the list of banned chemicals in Europe, and the big corporations carry 2 formulas, one for the EU market, the nasty formulation for here at home.
This story represents only a small tip of a very big iceberg.

Feb 27, 2014 3:40pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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