The maker of Nutella
is fighting back against a finding by food safety officials in Europe that palm oil used in Nutella's chocolate-hazelnut spread could pose a potential cancer risk.
"Ferrero wants to assure its consumers that Nutella and other Ferrero products that contain palm oil are safe," Ferrero, the Italian company behind Nutella, told ABC News
in a statement Thursday.
The current research on a possible connection between palm oil and cancer has been conducted only on animals, according to Besser.
"There have been no studies to show a palm oil connection to cancer in humans," he said.
Officials from The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told Besser they are monitoring research on the effects of palm oil in processed foods.
"I talked to the FDA yesterday, they said they're aware of these studies but from their perspective palm oil is safe to be used in foods," Besser said. "They'll continue to look at the evidence.
Nutella, the popular hazelnut spread, is being removed from supermarket shelves around the world as a result of a report that suggested one of its ingredients, palm oil, is linked with cancer.
Already, one of Italy’s larger grocery chain, Coop, has stopped selling the spread, according to the BBC. The European Food Safety Authority report,
released in May 2016, said the palm oil in spreads such as Nutella was more likely to have carcinogenic components—including Glycidyl fatty acid esters— than other vegetable oils. It’s unclear why the eight-month-old report is only now causing panic.
The report found that palm oil becomes more carcinogenic when heated above 200°C (392°F). While no consumers typically eat the spread heated at that temperature, some companies do cook palm oil at high temperatures to burn off its natural red coloring and to neutralize its odor. Ferrero, the maker of Nutella, told Reuters its industrial processes do not reach that high temperature.
We at Sure Basics believe that we as parents should always look at the ingredients on packaging when you buy anything that you and the kids will eat. When it comes to eating Nutella, it should not be an everyday food due to its higher sugar content. We have also started researching all the foods with palm oil. Its a wake up call for everyone and something new to learn. Stay Safe.