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Health Canada considers adding anti-cancer drug to junk food

December 22, 2009
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Health Canada is inviting public comments until February 21 on its idea to have small amounts of the enzyme asparaginase put into foods like potato chips and french fries, reports the Canadian Press. On its Web site, Health Canada says its scientists have finished a detailed safety assessment on the enzyme and haven''t found any health or safety concerns. At issue is the chemical acrylamide, which is found as a cooking byproduct in the production of foods like french fries and potato chips and has been linked to cancer in animals. Research suggests asparaginase reduces acrylamide production. Health Canada notes the enzyme is used in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and Denmark, and has been given a favorable evaluation by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives.
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