CSPI Urges FDA to Test for Acrylamide in Foods

Levels of the Likely Carcinogen Vary Greatly in Common Foods


On December 1, the Center for Science in the Public Interest sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach urging the agency to test and publicize levels of acrylamide in processed foods, as well as to limit acrylamide in foods such as cereal, potato chips and cookies.

Acrylamide, a probable human carcinogen, is produced when starchy foods are baked or fried at high temperatures. According to a CSPI survey, many major food companies refuse to disclose the levels of acrylamide in their products, making it difficult for consumers to avoid brands high in acrylamide.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States National Toxicology Program (comprised of the National Institutes of Health, the FDA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) all recognize that acrylamide is probably carcinogenic in humans, and a 2002 meeting of the WHO and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization called acrylamide in food “a major concern."

Click here to read the full letter to the FDA.

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Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at] or Ariana Stone (astone[at]