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Carcinogenic mineral oil traces in “Kinder-Riegel”: Foodwatch calls for a recall
A laboratory test by the consumer organization foodwatch shows that chocolate from Ferrero, Lindt and Rübezahl contains mineral oils that are hazardous to health. The carcinogenic substances were found in Ferrero's “Children's Bars”, among others. Foodwatch then called for a recall, but manufacturers refused to take the products out of sale.
Mineral oils in chocolate that are hazardous to health
According to a laboratory test by the foodwatch consumer organization, chocolate from Ferrero, Lindt and Rübezahl contains mineral oils that are hazardous to health. According to a press release from the organization, Ferrero's “Kinder Riegel”, Lindt's “Fioretto Nougat Minis” and “Sun Rice Classic Schoko Happen” from Rübezahl (including Aldi) are contaminated with so-called aromatic mineral oils (MOAH). These are considered to cause cancer and are said to damage the human genome. According to the information, foodwatch had informed the affected manufacturers in advance of the test results and requested a public recall. However, they refused to take the products out of sale.
"Manufacturers act grossly negligent"
“The manufacturers act with gross negligence. Instead of clearing the dangerous sweets off the shelves and warning consumers, they say that everything is completely legal - they have been preventing overdue limit values themselves for years, ”said Johannes Heeg from foodwatch. In a public statement, the Federal Confectionery Industry (BDSI) once again refers to allegedly successful "research initiatives and quality management measures" to reduce the dangerous substances in food. Consuming chocolate that is contaminated with aromatic mineral oils is "harmless", the association says.
Substances are classified as carcinogenic
Mineral oils are used in the food industry, for example, as lubricants for machines or in packaging. “The mineral oils detectable in food are divided into two groups: the aromatic mineral oils (MOAH) and the saturated mineral oils (MOSH). The former are particularly dangerous. They are suspected of being carcinogenic and mutagenic as well as influencing the hormone system, ”explains foodwatch on his website. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) generally regards the intake of MOAH (Mineral Oil Aromatic Hydrocarbons) by food as questionable. And even according to the assessment of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) "there should be no detectable transition from MOAH to food".
"Children's bar" did the worst
The “children's bar” from Ferrero performed the worst in the foodwatch test. The values were highest both for saturated mineral oils (MOSH) and for suspected cancerous, mutagenic aromatic mineral oils (MOAH). “Again and again, laboratory tests show dangerous mineral oils in food. Again and again the manufacturers react with excuses. But so far, Federal Food Minister Christian Schmidt has only admitted that there is a problem. He still owes consumers the solution, namely safe limit values for mineral oil contamination, ”criticized Johannes Heeg. “The problem has been known for years, but politics has not yet responded to it. The solution would be so simple: The European Union must prescribe the use of suitable barrier layers for waste paper packaging and set strict limit values for mineral oil in food, ”the experts at foodwatch write elsewhere.
Mineral oil finds in food
Findings of mineral oil in food are reported again and again. Mineral oils can get into chocolate in different ways. For example, about jute bags used for the transportation of cocoa beans, which are treated with mineral oils; About machine oils used in production or about exhaust fumes from industry and traffic. In many cases they come from the printing inks in the waste paper packaging. In recent years, mineral oil residues have been found, for example, in Advent calendars or in chocolate Easter bunnies. A few months ago, discoveries of mineral oil in lip care had also been reported. (ad)