Foodwatch: Many chocolate Easter bunnies contain mineral oils suspected of being cancerous
In tests by the consumer organization foodwatch, traces of mineral oils were found in eight out of 20 chocolate Easter bunnies examined. The detected substances are suspected of being carcinogenic. The experts demand strict legal regulations.
Carcinogenic and genotoxic substances in chocolate bunnies
The consumer organization foodwatch had chocolate Easter bunnies examined for mineral oil in the laboratory. It was found that 8 out of 20 products contained aromatic mineral oils (MOAH), which are suspected of being carcinogenic and genotoxic. Both inexpensive products from Lidl, Penny and Aldi Nord were affected, as well as expensive branded products from Lindt, Feodora and Niederegger. In addition, all chocolate bunnies were more or less heavily loaded with saturated mineral oils (MOSH), which accumulate in the body and can damage the organs. The laboratory measured extremely high values of saturated mineral oils in rabbits of the own brands "Favorina" from Lidl and "Douceur" from Penny, according to the foodwatch website. This is particularly critical for products for children, since they already absorb a lot of saturated mineral oils.
Zero tolerance for the particularly critical MOAH
Luise Molling from foodwatch said in a press release: “The test shows that the food industry still has no control over the problem of mineral oils in food. In almost every second rabbit we found suspicious aromatic mineral oils (MOAH). This is completely unacceptable, precisely because children are already most exposed to mineral oils, according to the European Food Safety Authority. The federal government is failing across the board: it must finally set strict legal limits for mineral oils in food. Zero tolerance must apply particularly to aromatic mineral oils suspected of being cancerous. They must not be detectable in food at all. ”Basically, mineral oils can get into chocolate in various ways. For example, about jute bags used for the transportation of cocoa beans, which are treated with oils, about machine oils used in production or about exhaust fumes from industry and traffic. Printing inks from waste paper packaging can also be an entry route if such cartons are used for transporting or storing the raw materials.
Mineral oils in food and cosmetics
It is not the first time that the potential cancer risk from mineral oil in foods has been highlighted. Only a few months ago mineral oil discoveries were known in Advent calendars in Bavaria. A few weeks earlier, foodwatch found aromatic mineral oils in staple foods such as rice, semolina and cornflakes. And recently, carcinogenic mineral oils have been found in lip care that could be ingested orally. Both the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the responsible German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) refer to the carcinogenic potential of aromatic mineral oils. "Therefore, there should be no demonstrable transition from MOAH to food", the BfR concluded in 2012. After finding mineral oil components in Advent calendars last year, the BfR wrote: "The contamination of food with mineral oil components from packaging is undesirable." (Ad)