One in eight food products polluted by aromatic hydrocarbons, according to Foodwatch


From bouillon cube to chocolate, including spread, the consumer association Foodwatch revealed this Thursday, December 9 that one in eight products, among 152 tested, contains aromatic hydrocarbons of mineral oil. “Disturbing” for health.

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Foodwatch tested 152 food products purchased in France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria, and found that 19 products were “Contaminated by aromatic hydrocarbons from mineral oils (MOAH), ie one in eight products”.

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MOAHs suspected of being carcinogenic

Aromatic hydrocarbons from mineral oils (MOAH) “Are suspected of being carcinogenic and mutagenic”, explains Foodwatch. “Their influence on the functioning of the hormonal system endocrine disruptors was also highlighted. “

The consumer association emphasizes that “The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has established that any exposure to aromatic hydrocarbons through food presents a danger”.

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If the sources of contamination are considered difficult to identify, the association nevertheless considers that the risk is present. “Throughout the production chain for all food products”. Indeed, these oils are for example used “As anti-dust binders, lubricants in production machines, as mold release agents, as polishing agents or in adhesives”, explains Foodwatch.

European regulations demanded

On the occasion of these new revelations, the consumer association calls for “A regulation that imposes zero tolerance for MOAHs in all foods across Europe. “

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Since October 2015, Foodwatch has alerted several times to the presence of MOAHs in consumer food products.

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In 2015, it revealed that 6 products out of 10 tested, including rice, couscous, lentils, corn-flakes, or even pasta, presented “A carcinogenic risk linked to MOAHs”.

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In 2019, Foodwatch showed that out of 16 baby milks purchased in France, Germany and the Netherlands, half contained “A worrying amount of MOAH”.

In reaction, the European Commission decided, in June 2020, to establish an MOAH threshold for infant formula.



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