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Food packaging labels pose 'severe risk to health'

Published on 25/05/2010
A chemical commonly found in the glue of adhesive labels on food packaging could pose a "particularly severe risk to health".

The warning comes from research published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, which found that a number of toxic compounds are used to stick labels to the packaging of food frequently found in supermarkets.

Furthermore, four of these chemicals are capable of seeping through paper and plastic subsequently contaminating the food inside, scientists at the University of Zaragoza in Spain discovered.

One such compound is so dangerous it is rated in the same "highly toxic" category as asbestos and hydrochloric acid.

An expert in food technology, Valerie Guillard, of the University of Montpellier, France, said she believes "migration of adhesive compounds is possible and at a level that could raise safety concerns".

"This work brings significant breakthroughs in the study of compliance with regulations of food contact materials," she said.

A spokesperson for the Food Standards Agency said that, although the subject was a potential area of further research, the organisation's own investigations have shown the possibility that the chemicals could contaminate food is "very low".

The use of chemicals and other safety concerns relating to food packaging in the UK is governed by the European Union under a framework regulation introduced in 2004.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Categories:  Health
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