The latest food scare is about overcooked roast potatoes and burnt toast. The Food Standards Agency warn that acrylamide produced by such foods could increase cancer risks in humans, although mice rather than humans were studied in the research
David Spiegelhalter, Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at the new Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication in Cambridge, has this to say:
“Cancer Research UK say that “researchers estimate that overweight and obesity are behind around 18,000 cases of cancer each year in the UK”. In stark contrast, the FSA provide no estimate of the current harm caused by acrylamide, nor the benefit from any reduction due to people following their advice. To be honest, I am not convinced it is appropriate to launch a public campaign on this basis.” Agreed.