• Germany edition
 
Cardboard boxes prompt food contamination fears
Photo: DPA

Cardboard boxes prompt food contamination fears

Published: 05 Dec 2012 12:24 GMT+01:00
Updated: 05 Dec 2012 12:24 GMT+01:00

Consumer testing institute Stiftung Warentest said last week it had found mineral oils from packaging in chocolates from such calendars - and that in nine cases the Christmas treats were so badly contaminated that children should not eat them.

Now consumer watchdog Foodwatch says the Agriculture and Consumer Minister Ilse Aigner deliberately failed to publish the results of a study she had commissioned, which showed that potentially dangerous chemicals could be found in the packaging of food like rice, cake mixtures and breakfast oats.

These chemicals could be transferred to the food, the study conducted by a group of institutions including Stuttgart's chemical and veterinary investigation office and Dresden Technical University. The Tagesspiegel newspaper said on Tuesday that the group alleged the report had been withheld since May.

The researchers found 250 substances in food packaging - including carcinogenic chemicals. These were mostly found in packaging made from recycled paper - because that comes from old newspapers, catalogues and other packaging, which has often been printed with oil-based inks. This creates the situation where such chemicals can contaminate food.

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, and the Agriculture and Consumer Ministry are pushing for the levels of mineral oils in food packaging to be reduced as far as possible, the Tagesspiegel said.

It said Aigner had introduced two measures over the past fortnight to set limits on the level of acceptable contamination of food, and to institute a ban on oil-containing inks for food packaging in general. "No other country in the European Union is doing anything apart from us," Aigner's spokesman told the paper.

He also denied that the ministry had failed to publish the report on contamination, saying it had been publicly available on the internet.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Siemens lands €650m Norway wind power deal
Photo: DPA

Siemens lands €650m Norway wind power deal

German engineering giant Siemens has won a contract worth 650 million euros to supply wind turbines to Norwegian power groups Statoil and Statkraft, the company said Thursday. READ  

BVB seeks cash to match Bayern
Photo: DPA

BVB seeks cash to match Bayern

Borussia Dortmund announced its plan to raise €114.4 million on Thursday in an effort to compete with Bundesliga rival Bayern Munich. READ  

Merkel tops Putin hot-line call queue
Call me maybe: The Berlin-Moscow hot-line has been busy. Photo: DPA

Merkel tops Putin hot-line call queue

"If there's somethin' strange in your neighbourhood; Who ya gonna call?" If you're Vladimir Putin, growing ever more isolated among his G8 peers, it's Angela Merkel, say the Kremlin hot-line stats. READ  

More Germans seek assisted dying abroad
A Belgian "suicide kit" including the commonly-used drug sodium pentothal. Photo: DPA

More Germans seek assisted dying abroad

A study revealed today that more people traveled to Switzerland to undergo assisted dying from Germany than from any other country in 2012. READ  

80,000 trainee jobs empty as Germans opt for uni
Photo: DPA

80,000 trainee jobs empty as Germans opt for uni

More young people are choosing university degrees over vocational training, leaving firms scrambling to find qualified new hires. READ  

Doctor arrested over medical test 'rape' photos
The Bamberg Clinic, where alleged abuse was reported. Photo: DPA

Doctor arrested over medical test 'rape' photos

Police in Bavaria have arrested a 48-year-old doctor for allegedly drugging and raping medical test volunteers, media reported Thursday. READ  

German of the Week
Nuts and bolts of being a piercing king
Rolf Buchholz, world's most pierced man. Photo: Caro von D Photografie

Nuts and bolts of being a piercing king

The world's most-pierced man, Rolf Buchholz, was just deported from Dubai, for fear of 'black magic', he says. But as shocking as many people find his body modifications, it is a genuine passion, our German of the Week explains. And who knows, he may just enchant you yet. READ  

Amazon 'should not endanger diversity'
State minister for culture and media Monika Grütters. Photo: DPA

Amazon 'should not endanger diversity'

A German minister on Wednesday threw her weight behind the authors battling US online retail giant Amazon over its alleged strong-arm negotiating tactics with publishers. READ  

Opposition calls for arms export debate
Photo: DPA

Opposition calls for arms export debate

Green Party leader Katrin Göring-Eckhardt is calling for a special session of parliament following Wednesday's announcement that Germany will break its rules and deliver weapons to an active conflict zone. READ  

Families find solace and help with seniors
Photo: DPA

Families find solace and help with seniors

When Verena Herz found out she was pregnant with twins, she had no idea what she was in for. Luckily, she was able to borrow a grandmother. The Local learns the advantages of welcoming a new grandparent into the family and why Omas and Opas say: "I tell everybody about it!" READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should.
Photo: DPA
Society
A German journalist shares the story of his US arrest in Ferguson
Photo: DPA
National
Berlin's senate puts the brakes on Über
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: DPA
Culture
How I deal with my German Hausmeister
Photo: Ingrid Eulenfan/flickr
Gallery
Nine German treats you'll want to eat right now (and one you won't)
Photo: DPA
Society
Who's getting German citizenship?
Photo: DPA
Culture
How World War I changed Germany forever
Photo: APA/DPA
Gallery
The 12 best words in Austrian German
Photo: DPA
Society
'Look at those German shanty towns!'
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,365
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd