DUBAI // A range of popular chocolate treats could be removed from shop shelves after a possible cancer link was highlighted by a European health watchdog.
Kinder products are being investigated by the Ministry of Economy and food authorities after concerns were raised about levels of hydrocarbons in some products.
German body Foodwatch found that three out of 20 Kinder products contained “dangerous” levels of mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons – a tasteless carcinogen.
The advisory body called for Ferrero’s Kinder Riegel chocolate bar, Lindt’s Fioretto Nougat Minis and one other German product to be removed.
Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, director of the Consumer Protection Department at the ministry, contacted food control authorities in the UAE on Sunday to determine the accuracy of the European safety concerns.
Tests are being conducted on the named products and the results will be published.
“If the analyses conducted by any of the competent food control authorities in the UAE prove the product to be dangerous, the ministry will immediately proceed with the removal of the product from all outlets and consumers will be urged to refrain from consuming the product,” Dr Al Nuaimi said.
Consumers are exposed to a range of mineral oil hydrocarbons via food, with the main sources being food packaging, additives, processing aids and lubricants.
According to the European Food Safety Authority, higher levels of exposure can damage lymph nodes, spleen and liver, with hydrocarbons likely to be carcinogenic and mutagenic.
A mutagen is an agent that induces heritable change in cells or organisms. A carcinogen is a substance that induces unregulated growth in cells or tissues of animals, leading to cancer.
The study, conducted in Germany and circulating on social media, urges consumers to refrain from consuming Kinder chocolate and Kinder maxi because of high levels of carcinogenic oils. It also urges consumers to refrain from buying other products from the same company because they contain excessive amounts of additives that are detrimental to health.
Kinder, which means children in German, is a brand made by Italian confectionery maker Ferrero. The company said it was treating the matter with the utmost seriousness and a full statement would follow.
Source: uae news