• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Cardboard boxes prompt food contamination fears

The Local · 5 Dec 2012, 12:24

Published: 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.

Story continues below…

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)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
The Local List
Germany's five most mind-boggling conspiracy theories
What's the point of this mysterious tower at Tempelhof Airport? Photo: DPA.

Think that wacky paranoid types only exist in the USA? Here’s a few crazy German conspiracies to prove you wrong.

Munich shooting
Gunman's friend arrested for 'planning school attack'
File photo: DPA

Police found chemicals and instructions for making explosives, as well as evacuation plans of his school in the youth's possession.

Bremen mall evacuated due to escaped psychiatric patient
Police outside the mall. Photo: DPA

The man had reportedly made worrying statements relating to Isis and last week's shooting in Munich.

German ambassador to Turkey left out in cold
Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: DPA

The Turkish government has been giving German ambassador Martin Erdmann the cold shoulder for weeks, after German parliamentarians passed a bill recognizing the Armenian genocide.

Ansbach suicide bomber was interviewed by Bulgarian TV
Photo: DPA

A Syrian who blew himself up outside a German music festival at the weekend was interviewed twice by Bulgarian television while living there in 2013, footage showed on Wednesday.

No injuries after blast near Bavarian migrant centre
A sign at the Zirndorf migrant centre. Photo: DPA

A suitcase, likely packed with aerosol cans, has blown up near a migrant centre on the outskirts of Nuremberg, causing no injuries, police confirm.

Not your average student digs: 'amazing' plastic bubble
Photo: DPA

Could this wacky experiment be the future of student housing?

Police settle train violence over smelly feet
Not the feet in question. Photo: Caitlin Regan/Flickr

A fellow passenger's foot odour proved too much for one traveller to stomach.

How Berliners are responding to the Bavaria attacks
Photo: DPA

Is fear of terrorism creeping up on the capital?

Munich gunman was far-right racist: media reports
Photo: DPA

According to research by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung the Munich gunman was proud to have been born on the same day as Hitler and hated Turks and Arabs.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
11,008
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd