Hundreds of foods in U.S. contain 'ADA' plastics chemical: report
Send a link to a friend
[February 27, 2014] By
(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
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.
[to top of second column]
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)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.