POISON ALERT OVER SUPERMARKET FOOD AS ‘GLUE SEEPS FROM LABELS’
Monday May 24,2010
By Jo Willey Have your say(0)
FOOD in supermarkets is at risk of contamination from package labels, experts warn. They claim that toxic chemicals could be seeping into packets from glue on the labels.
Previous research found that chemicals in a wide range of products available generally may cause infertility in women, cancer, immune system disorders and even neurological problems.
Now a study – described by one expert as a “significant breakthrough” – warns that food in supermarkets is at risk.
It found that a number of chemicals used in adhesives for food labels can seep through packaging and cause contamination.
Although strict EU regulations exist for the use of plastics in food packaging there is no specific legislation about the chemicals in adhesives used to attach labels directly or indirectly to food packaging or to fix packaging layers together.
All materials that come into contact with food must comply with regulations set out by the European Parliament.
But a team of scientists studied compounds found in acrylic adhesives. They discovered that some chemicals can diffuse through the packaging and reach the food inside. One is considered highly toxic and is found in high concentration in some adhesives.
Valerie Guillard, an expert in food technology and packaging at the University of Montpellier, France, said: “This work brings significant breakthroughs in the study of compliance with regulations of food-contact materials.” She believes the study shows “migration of adhesive compounds is possible at a level that could raise safety concerns”.