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Health Canada Seeks Input On Adding Anti-Cancer Drug To Junk Food

Ottawa wants to know what you think about its unusual proposal to put a cancer-fighting drug into junk food.

Health Canada is inviting public comments until February 21 on its idea to have small amounts of the enzyme asparaginase put into foods like potato chips and french fries. On its website, Health Canada says its scientists have finished a detailed safety assessment on the enzyme and haven’t found any health or safety concerns.

At issue is the chemical acrylamide, which is found as a cooking byproduct in the production of foods like french fries and potato chips and has been linked to cancer in animals.

Research suggests asparaginase reduces acrylamide production.

Health Canada notes the enzyme is used in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and Denmark, and has been given a favourable evaluation by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives.