The suit was filed against potato chip and french fry manufacturers because of the high levels of acrylamide found in these products, the lawsuit says. The defendants are Burger King Corp., Cape Cod Potato Chips Inc./Lance Inc., Frito-Lay Inc., H.J. Heinz Inc., Kettle Foods Inc., KFC Corp., McDonald’s Corp., Procter & Gamble Distributing Co., and Wendy’s International. The attorney general targeted the nine defendants because they are listed in two lawsuits that were filed privately in 2002.
The lawsuit was filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court and alleges that the defendants violated Proposition 65, which requires business to provide “clear and reasonable” warnings before exposing people to known carcinogens or reproductive toxins. Proposition 65 was enacted by California voters in 1986, and acrylamide has been on the list of carcinogens since 1990.
“In taking this action, I am not telling people to stop eating potato chips or french fries,” Lockyer said. “But I, and all consumers, should have the information we need to make informed decisions about the food we eat. Proposition 65 requires companies to tell us when we’re exposed to potentially dangerous toxins in our food.”
Lockyer said he intends to work with the defendants to find a way to effectively give consumers information about the acrylamide in their products.
For information on how to reduce acrylamide levels in bakery foods, go to www.bakery-net.com/moreinfo.