More bad news about what’s in our food and another reason to steer clear of as many pre-fab meals as possible.
The consumer advocacy organization, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), has released a list of almost 500 popular food products that contain azodicarbonamide (ADA), a controversial chemical found in flip flops, yoga mats and some baked bread. (Our watchdog reporter Joyce Newman recently covered the topic.)
Despite calls for its ban, ADA, which is used to bleach flour and strengthen dough, making it more pliable, is an FDA-approved additive—so long as quantities are limited to less than 0.0045 percent of the weight of the flour.
Though few formal studies have been conducted on ADA’s impact on human health, both the Center for Science in the Public Interest and World Health Organization have expressed concerns about the compound. Officials have pointed to cases of workers who come in regular contact with the product developing asthma, respiratory ailments and skin problems. And animal research has shown that when consumed or inhaled the compound is difficult for the body to absorb and process as waste.
Of particular concern is the fact that, when baked, ADA forms semicarbazide and urethane, byproducts that have been linked to various cancers in mice.
For the EWG’s complete list of supermarket foods that contain ADA, click here.