Why is there a warning label on my bread?

Due to a state law in California, Proposition 65, any business that sells baked goods and employs 10 or more workers must include a warning label on their products about the possible presence of acrylamide.

What is acrylamide?

Acrylamide forms when certain plant-based foods are cooked, fried, baked, grilled or processed at high temperatures. It is naturally present in food and does not come from packaging or the environment in which food is made.

What is Proposition 65?

Proposition 65 entitles California consumers to special warnings for certain products that contain “chemicals known to the State to cause cancer or reproductive harm.” Proposition 65 was enacted in California by ballot initiative in 1986. Since its passage, tens of thousands of products – ranging from laundry detergent to fresh fish to even some shoes and clothing – have been required to carry Proposition 65 warning labels.

Where is acrylamide found?

Acrylamide has been found in many plant-based foods, such as roasted asparagus, canned sweet potatoes and pumpkin, canned black olives, roasted nuts, coffee, roasted grain-based coffee substitutes, prune juice, breakfast cereals, crackers, some cookies, bread crusts, french fries, potato chips and other fried and baked snack foods.

How will this affect my physical health and what can I do to protect myself?

The FDA encourages the adoption of a healthy diet and does not recommend that consumers stop eating foods that are fried, roasted or baked. Acrylamide is found naturally in foods at a low dose and consumed regularly by millions of Americans without any negative effects. However, consumption of extremely high doses has been linked to cancer in laboratory animals.

Why now and why am I seeing this warning label in states other than California?

Acrylamide is listed as a chemical that is known to cause cancer under Proposition 65. Thus, the State of California requires products that contain acrylamide to provide a warning label about potential consequences.

Franz is a regional baking company that services the western United States including the state of California. In an effort to ensure compliance with California’s requirements, we have decided to include the Proposition 65 statement on products that may be sold in California.