A UK food safety watchdog has said that the recycled cardboard boxes used for foods, such as breakfast cereals, pose no health risk.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has downplayed a Swiss study that indicated mineral oils in boxes made from recycled cardboard and their printing ink could pose a cancer risk, reports the Guardian.
Advertisement"The FSA is not aware of any firm evidence to suggest that there are food safety risks related to mineral oils in recycled food packaging. The research [which examined products bought from German supermarkets] ... is interesting, but due to incomplete data the results have not demonstrated that mineral oils in food packaging represent a food safety risk," said the FSA in a statement.
It further said that further research was being carried out.
Swiss researchers have found that cardboard packaging made from recycled newspapers can carry the mineral oils used in the papers' ink.
These oils can seep into foods such as cereal, pasta and rice and even pass through the packaging's protective inner plastic bags, bringing possible health risks.
Koni Grob of the Food Safety Laboratory in Zurich said toxicologists had linked the oils to inflammation of internal organs and cancer, though he stressed meals would contain only a minute dose.
Meanwhile, manufacturers have admitted that they were altering or reviewing their packaging following the health concerns
Cereal-maker Jordans, whose brands include Country Crisp and Crunchy Oats, has stopped using certain kinds of recycled cardboard.
Other manufacturers said they were taking action to reduce levels of mineral oils in packaging.