Is No Food Sacred? EU Goes After Cinnamon Rolls.


Imagine if Bloomberg tried to ban bagels

Probably Michael Bloomberg knows better than to try this: The European Union's extremely meddlesome food regulations are threatening Denmark's cinnamon rolls. They have more cinnamon in them than the government collective thinks Danish people should be allowed to consume.

From The (U.K.) Telegraph:

The season's festivities in Denmark have been overshadowed by the prospect that it could be the last Danish Christmas before a European Union ban on their beloved kanelsnegler or cinnamon rolls.

The proposed ban followed plans by Denmark's food safety agency to implement EU regulations aimed at limiting the amount of coumarin, a naturally occurring toxic chemical found in the most commonly used type of cinnamon, cassia.

Under Danish interpretation of the EU legislation the amount of cinnamon in "everyday fine baked goods" will be limited to 15mg per kilo meaning a ban on Kanelsnegler pastries, a winter favourite in all Nordic countries, which take their name from their coiled snail shape.

The problem, though, is that although coumarin is technically toxic chemical, experts say it's not this toxic. Furthermore, it only affects those who are particularly sensitive to it. People aren't keeling over from eating cinnamon rolls – well, at least not because of their toxicity anyway. NPR explored what experts have to say about cinnamon:

Experts say that adults would have to eat a lot of Cassia cinnamon to be at risk. For an adult, that limit is about a teaspoon a day, according to the set by the European Food Safety Authority — or roughly about as much cinnamon as you'd find in an entire batch of cookies.

For small children, the amount is lesser, but even so, the child would have to eat a lot of cinnamon rolls and also be susceptible to the toxin. An expert tells NPR:

Only certain individuals are even going to be susceptible to liver issues from coumarin. … That person would have to exceed the maximum recommended daily intake for at least two weeks before liver problems cropped up — and if problems do occur, the toxicity is reversible.

In other words, there's little reason to regulate cinnamon content in food at all, let alone with such harsh rules.

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