German scientists recently published a study implying that levels of the carcinogen acrylamide in the body might not be as strongly influenced by consumption of acrylamide-containing food as widely believed, sparking heavy criticism from their peers.

Fried and baked foods such as french fries and potato chips often contain high levels of acrylamide, a reagent biochemists use to separate proteins, and a neurotoxin and suspected carcinogen. Since acrylamide was detected in fried and baked goods, it has become a contentious issue among scientists, with bitter disagreements about its origin in humans and its potential dangers to health.

In the September 30 issue of the peer-reviewed medical journal Deutsches Ärzteblatt, researchers from the Medical School of Hannover in Germany examined the association between hemoglobin adducts of acrylamide and the diet and smoking habits of 395 people. "No association was found between acrylamide adduct concentration and diet," they wrote....

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