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According to recent reports, Nutella has been banned from an Italian supermarket because it could cause cancer.
The maker of the hazelnut spread, Ferrero, has hit back at the implications that its product could leave anyone who eats it with the deadly illness.
The reason for the allegations is that Nutella contains palm oil, which the European Food Standards Authority has previously stated contains a contaminant found in the oil's edible form which is carcinogenic.
Ferrero has launched an advertising campaign to promote the safety of the spread, in a hope to reassure customers, after some retailers, including Italy's supermarket chain, Coop, removed it from their shelves.
"The health and safety of consumers is an absolute and first priority for Ferrero and we confirm that Ferrero products are safe," Ferrero said in a statement. "EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has analyzed the presence of contaminants in a large number of products and oils stating that the presence of contaminants depends on the oils and fats used as well as the processes they are subjected to.
"It is for this reason that Ferrero carefully selects quality raw materials and applies specific industrial processes that limit their presence to minimum levels, fully in line with the parameters defined by the EFSA. In addition, our Quality teams constantly monitor such factors and guarantee the food safety of our products to the consumer."
"Making Nutella without palm oil would produce an inferior substitute for the real product; it would be a step backward," Ferrero's purchasing manager Vincenzo Tapella told Reuters.
The fear of a cancer risk is because of glycidyl fatty acid ester (GE), which is produced in palm oil when it is heated above 200 degrees Celsius, according to the Independent.
"There is sufficient evidence that glycidol is genotoxic and carcinogenic, therefore the Contam panel did not set a safe level for GE," chair of Contam, the EFSA panel that investigated palm oil, said in May.
There is quite a concern over the product from other organisations, too.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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