Common US Food Additives May Cause Cancer

( – Common food additives are linked to an increased cancer risk, scientists warn. A major French study found that emulsifiers, including modified starches, xanthan, gum, and pectins, which are found in a broad range of foods, increase cancer risk by 15%. The additive known as E471, increases breast cancer risk by 24% and prostate cancer by 46%, the research found.

Scientists looked at data from a 92,000-person study conducted between 2009 and 2021 and found that processed foods, such as TV dinners, some bread, cakes, and other treats, can lead to health deterioration in individuals who consume large amounts.

Mathilde Touvier and Bernard Srour, who led the research, said that while the findings do not constitute absolute proof, they bring new “key knowledge to the debate.”

The UK’s School of Public Health, based at Imperial College London, made similar discoveries last year. It found that heavily processed foods, infused with additives to increase shelf life or improve color and texture, are a health hazard and are linked to various serious health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

The London research looked at 200,000 people and examined their dietary habits over a 10-year period; it noted a higher prevalence of cancers, specifically ovarian and breast cancer, in additive consumers. Scientists concluded that for every 10% of processed foods a person eats, cancer risk rises by 2%.

Research published by the National Library of Medicine in the US claims there are more than 2,500 additives in foods commonly consumed in America. In addition, there may be up to 12,000 chemicals that enter foods unintentionally, such as through packaging, or in pesticides used to feed animals.

Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration may be unaware of some contaminants, and scientists have warned that carcinogenic testing is not required for a food or additive to be considered safe. “Very little is known about the tumor-promoting activity of the few food ingredients that have been tested for carcinogenicity,” studies have found.

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