This is in your food

23 November 2016 — SumOfUs

After almost 170k of us across Europe spoke out, the EU Commissioner has delayed a vote on a weak food safety regulation written by and for big corporations. But the Commissioner is meeting with national governments this Friday to discuss how to proceed.

Click here to add your voice now for strong, legal limits on cancer-causing substances in food.



Leaked EU documents show that big corporations have seized control of our food safety regulations, determined to keep a dangerous cancer-causing substance in our food. Even after Brexit, these corporate-written rules could set the baseline for future UK regulation.

It’s not too late to demand real action, but we only have a few days before the Health Commissioner considers whether to adopt the industry’s dream come true. 

Leaked EU documents show that big corporations have seized control of our food safety regulations.

Under corporate pressure, the EU is set to adopt meaningless “guidelines” that will mean dangerously high levels of a substance called acrylamide in our food. Even the EU’s own food safety experts say this substance could damage our DNA and increase the risk of cancer.

It’s a dream come true for the industry giants. In the coming days, the European Commissioner for Health will consider the draft proposal. And even after Brexit, these rules could set the baseline for future UK regulation, too. But a public outcry across Europe for real, legal limits that protect people (not profits!) can still beat the lobbyists. 

Tell the EU Commissioner for Health to ensure laws with legally-binding, maximum acrylamide limits, which ensures the food on our dinner tables is safe.

With basic measures, levels of the substance called acrylamide in our food can be dramatically reduced. But leaked EU legislation shows that corporate lobbyists are using a backroom committee procedure to prevent any real action. Under the proposal, acrylamide would be regulated through easily ignored-voluntary guidelines that won’t decrease the dangers at all. 

Acrylamide is a dangerous carcinogenic substance that is found in many foods that we eat every day: from potato crisps to toast, biscuits and even baby food. Last year’s scientific opinion from the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) warned that acrylamide is a public health concern, as “it potentially increases the risk of developing cancer in consumers of all ages”. Children and babies are particularly vulnerable.

The levels of carcinogenic acrylamide can be significantly limited, but this hasn’t been the case so far: despite the years of monitoring, the levels of acrylamide in food have not been going down. Even worse, a lot of food producers were not aware of this problem at all or were not willing to take any measures to reduce it.

And the draft laws aren’t just meaningless. Worse than that: the recommended acrylamide levels are in many cases actually higher than current amounts found in food, and the laws block countries bringing in tougher rules. That’d be a huge win for irresponsible food giants.

A first decision on the draft proposal is just days away. Sign the petition to demand tougher laws on acrylamide in our food now.

Soft rules and self-regulation has been failing us for years. Now lobbyists paid by McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut have been pushing hard for weak guidelines. But SumOfUs members are just as good at standing up for consumers. Over 600,000 of us demanded the French government ban bee-killing pesticides, and it worked!

The EU can still toughen up the plans. Countries are debating the laws this week. So right now we’ve got a window to get proper, legal limits on acrylamide. We can do it together, but we’ve not got long to build the pressure.

The EU should back ordinary people, not big business. Sign the petition for tougher laws on acrylamide in our food now.

Thanks for all you do,

Paul, Wiebke and the team at SumOfUs

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