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FDA warns against chemical in toast, coffee, fries

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Posted at 6:43 PM, Nov 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-26 18:43:13-05

Could your breakfast toast give you cancer? The government has a new warning out just in time for the holidays.

It's not just toast, but also french fries, chips and even coffee.

Toast and coffee have been breakfast for millions of us for years. But the government says that dark, crunchy goodness and cup of Joe may be really bad for us.

The culprit is something called "Acrylamide." It's a chemical that forms when certain foods are browned by frying, baking or roasting. Scientists believe it causes cancer in mice.

Scientists have known since 2002 that Acrylamide exists in foods but now the FDA has decided to take action.

This month, they released a 37-page report: Guidelines for Acrylamide.

It reminds us that the FDA has been hard at work the past 11 years on the issue. It has developed an action plan, convened two meetings of an advisory committee and tested food samples.

Now after all those years of hard work, our government has helpful hints:

-- Toast bread to a light color, not a dark one

-- Don't store potatoes in the refrigerator; a closet or pantry is better

-- Dark roast coffee beans are better than light roast

The Grocery Manufacturers Association says Acrylamide is in about 40 percent of the calories in a typical American diet.