Fish, rice, vegetables and seaweed. In appearance, makis are all good. However, the food algae that surrounds these small bites would not be without risk from a health point of view. In a notice published last Tuesday, the National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (ANSES) warns of the high concentration of cadmium, a substance classified as carcinogenic, in food algae.
Too high cadmium concentration
To study the risks associated with the consumption of seaweed, ANSES was contacted by the General Directorate for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Control in order to carry out a whole series of samples. As a result, in more than a quarter of the algae samples analyzed, the cadmium concentration exceeds the maximum value recommended by the Superior Council of Public Hygiene France (CHSPF). “The approximately 250 analyzes of algae samples concerning unprocessed algae show cadmium concentrations exceeding, for 26% of them, the maximum value of 0.5 mg / kg dry weight recommended by the CHSPF “, can we read in the report.
Kidney damage, bone fragility, cancer …
Present in the environment, cadmium easily penetrates plants through their roots and thus attaches to the food chain. Prolonged exposure to this chemical element can cause bone fragility, kidney damage, effects on the respiratory system or an increased risk of cancer in humans. It is also suspected of acting on the liver and the immune system.
In order to limit overexposure to cadmium, ANSES calls on the competent authorities to establish a maximum concentration “as low as possible in food algae”. “Taking into account the overall cadmium intake of a usual diet, ANSES proposes a maximum cadmium content of 0.35 milligrams per kilogram of dry matter in edible algae”, she specifies. In the meantime, it is better to limit our consumption of seaweed, whether they are cooked in salads or in the form of maki. Fans of Japanese cuisine can always turn to sushi, rich in minerals, proteins and omega 3… and without algae!
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