Those who are trying to keep up with all the over-sensationalized cancer-causing foodstuffs in our pantries need to update their lists. Scientists have just revealed yet another beloved snack for us to avoid: Potato chips.

     Technically it is the acrylamide in the potato chips that’s the villain. Researchers from Stockholm University allege that frying or baking carbohydrate-rich foods forms acrylamide and this is a “probable human carcinogen” according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

     So it’s time to toss the chips and eat celery with our hot dogs…right?

     Well, maybe not. According to Steve Milloy of the Junk Science homepage, it appears there’s not much crunch to this potato chip hype. First of all there is a problem with recognizing acrylamide as a human carcinogen. There has been no testing on humans, according to Milloy, that have shown this to be true. Instead, laboratory mice have been used as subjects – and these rodents are so prone to cancer that their simple overeating could trigger the disease. This is certainly not a credible way to analyze the effects of the chemical on humans.

    Even, however, should one assume that acrylamide is a human carcinogen, what would this mean for the average potato chip lover? Must he sacrifice either chip or life?

     Hardly. This is because it takes a ratio of at least 500 micrograms of acrylamide per kilogram of rodent per day to produced an increase risk in cancer incidence. Put another way, this means the average adult human would need to chomp down 35,000 micrograms of acrylamide per day, or a hefty 35,000 chips (about 62.5 lbs) per day for life, to achieve similar results.

    Now who would’ve thought that ingesting over 60 lbs. of chips per day would be unhealthy?

     It should also be noted that these scientists have not yet released the study for scientific peer review. They took these conclusions straight to the press instead of waiting for a credible academic journal to publish them. Such practices are usually associated with what is termed “junk”, not credible, science.

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