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Health Agencies Update
June 23/30, 2004

Furan in Foods

JAMA. 2004;291(24):2933. doi:10.1001/jama.291.24.2933-c

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plans to look into the health effects of low levels of the chemical furan in certain foods. Some animal data suggest that exposure to high levels of the naturally occurring chemical may have a carcinogenic effect, but furan's effects in humans are not known.

New data show that furan, which is produced through heating, is found in a wider range of foods than previously thought. Recent FDA tests reveal that levels of the chemical in various foods range from nondetectable to approximately 100 parts per billion.

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