• Germany's news in English

Cardboard boxes prompt food contamination fears

The Local · 5 Dec 2012, 12:24

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd