- The Washington Times - Monday, February 10, 2014

A chemical commonly used in fast-food restaurant bread and brought to public attention by a food blogger has now come under fire from New York Sen. Charles Schumer, who wants the federal government to ban it.

Mr. Schumer launched a campaign Sunday for the Food and Drug Administration to ban azodicarbonamide, a chemical used mostly to put the rubber in rubbery products such as yoga mats and shoe soles.

Studies have found that the chemical, when cooked, can create semicarbazide, a carcinogen known to cause tumors in humans, according to the Associated Press. Many fast-food outlets use the chemical to make their bread whiter and “bouncier.”

Mr. Schumer ceded that no link has yet been made between the use of the chemical in bread and cancer, but said its use is nevertheless unacceptable despite the FDA’s approval, Fox News reported.

“In a day where cancer rates are rising … you have to be careful,” he said during a press conference outside a McDonald’s restaurant on Manhattan’s West Side, according to Newsday. “We need to do everything we can to remove carcinogens from the food pyramid.”

He also said the chemical is widely used at other fast-food chains such as Arby’s, Burger King and Wendy’s.

Subway voluntarily stopped using the chemical after the blogger began a petition against its use.

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