Home > Explore More > Recycled breakfast cereal packets can cause cancer.

Recycled breakfast cereal packets can cause cancer.


A new study in Europe has warned of a possible link between recycled breakfast cereal packets and cancer.

Researchers in Switzerland claim to have found that mineral oils in printing ink from recycled newspapers used in cardboard can get into foods such as breakfast cereals, even passing through protective inner plastic bags. Even brands of pasta and rice which are packaged in recycled cardboard could also pose a risk.

Dr Koni Grob from the Food Safety Laboratory in Zurich said toxicologists had linked the oils to inflammation of internal organs and even cancer, though he stressed that individual meals would contain a tiny dose of the chemicals.

The researchers analysed 119 products bought from German supermarkets last year and found that a large majority contained traces of mineral oils higher than the agreed level, the British media reported.

Only those with thicker and more expensive inner lining bags appeared to escape contamination, which increased the longer products were on the shelves.

“Roughly 30 products from 119 were free of mineral oils, nearly all because of an inner barrier. For the others,

they all exceeded the limits and most exceeded it by 10 times. We calculated that before the end of their shelf

life, they would probably exceed the limit 50 times on average and many would exceed it by several hundred times,” Dr Grob said.

“Studies on rats have highlighted the dangers to health of mineral oils,” said Dr Grob, adding, “Toxicologists talk about two effects. One is the chronic inflammation of various internal organs and the other one is cancer.” He added

that “One meal has no real effect on health. It is a matter of long-term exposure.”

The revelations have immediately prompted leading cereal manufacturers like Jordans to announce it had already stopped using recycled cardboard. Other manufacturers like the Kellogg’s said they were looking at the research and taking action to reduce levels of mineral oils in their packaging.

A Kellogg’s spokesman said: “While experts tell us there’s no immediate health concern, we are looking at our packaging. We are working with our suppliers on new packaging which allows us to meet our environmental commitments but will also contain significantly lower levels of mineral oil.”

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  1. March 10, 2011 at 3:58 AM

    Oh God! Our attempt to control the pollution outside by recycling waste products is a hazardous attempt to unleash pollution inside!!!

    God knows what way we are to go!

    Thanks for such awareness,
    But, many of us are helpless!

    • March 10, 2011 at 11:35 AM

      Yes that whats happens when we go for more advance science…..some of the issues comes,cause in science there are always positve and negative sides.

  2. March 14, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    Very interesting content. Like it.

  3. May 3, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    health is always endangered, breakfast cereal packets Recycled cans cause cancer. such as information that you submit, good food is not necessarily 100% healthy. liked your article.

  4. johnshepard
    August 12, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    unfortunately even meat and produce goods are unhealthy if you ask me
    all of the produce goods are genetically modified (the reason for this is to make a terminate seed out of them) basically their seeds are slightly retarded and i believe that is a bad sign,
    on meat, vitamins and other stuff are being fed to the livestocks i believe those chemicals are not really for them and for the humans because it is against the law of nature

    theyre not really that dangerous or a hazard but they can shorten the lifespan of a human in general

  5. August 29, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    Thank you!

  6. August 29, 2011 at 10:58 PM

    @ johnshepard,what ever the technology are been used especeally in food products is always terror to our health,though we are depend on the new style of food……

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