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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Hijiki seaweed could cause cancer: FSA  (อ่าน 2308 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: สิงหาคม 10, 2010, 07:51:11 PM »


Hijiki seaweed contains high levels of cancer-causing inorganic arsenic.(Photo: Stock File/FIS)

Hijiki seaweed could cause cancer: FSA

UNITED KINGDOM
Tuesday, August 10, 2010, 03:20 (GMT + 9)



The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is reiterating its advice not to eat the seaweed hijiki due to its high content of cancer-causing inorganic arsenic.

This reminder comes after a notification from the European Commission (EC) to the Agency about the brand of hijiki seaweed called Clearspring, on sale in the UK, which was found to have high levels of arsenic.

“We are advising people not to eat hijiki seaweed and to choose alternative types of seaweed instead. However, if you have eaten hijiki occasionally it is unlikely that you have raised your risk of developing cancer significantly,” FSA said.

The UK company behind the tested hijiki, however, said levels did not top its own limits, reports Food Navigator.

“The total arsenic content found in the lot of Clearspring Hijiki that was the subject of the notification that triggered the re-issue of the advice was slightly above average and below our limit,” stated Maria Furugori, Clearspring product quality and development manager.

FSA carried out a survey in 2004 and determined that hijiki contains inorganic arsenic – unlike arame, kombu, nori and wakame seaweed.

Hijiki is black, shredded seaweed, served mainly as an appetiser in some Japanese restaurants but not used in sushi or Chinese restaurants.

Hijiki is also sold for consumption in soups and salads and certain vegetarian and vegan dishes. It can be found in some supermarkets and department stores and in health food shops and Asian and Far Eastern food shops.

Arsenic occurs naturally at very low levels in many foods and it is impossible to avoid it completely, as it is ubiquitous in the environment.

The level of harm intrinsic to arsenic is contingent on the chemical form in which it exists. The inorganic form can cause cancer by damaging our DNA.

Rice and rice products combined with hijiki have higher levels of the inorganic form of arsenic than other food.

The Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT), the independent scientific committee that advises the FSA, concluded that as little of this form of arsenic as reasonably practicable should be consumed, while the organic form is less injurious

There are no EU-wide regulations for arsenic levels in food, and although in the UK there is a general limit of 1 mg/kg, seaweed is not included. The UK regulations were set in 1959 -- before it became known that inorganic arsenic is carcinogenic.

Last September, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that it was not appropriate to identify a tolerable daily or weekly arsenic intake and advised that dietary exposure to inorganic arsenic should be lowered. EU-wide regulations might be established for arsenic levels in food.

“Once these are available, we will ensure that our product complies with these,” said Furugori.

By Natalia Real
editorial@fis.com
www.fis.com


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