N.Y. Lawmaker: Ban Yoga Mat Chemical Found In Some Breads

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N.Y. Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer is saying no thanks to the consumption of azodicarbonamide, a chemical found in yoga mats and shoe soles, that Subway — amid backlash — dropped from its sandwich bread, according to ABC News.

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On Sunday, the veteran senator called on the Food and Drug Administration to ban azodicarbonamide altogether, “McDonald’s bread (pictured) is so full of azodicarbonamide so that billions and billions served could really be billions and billions served toxic chemicals,” he told Newsday.

Subway announced last week that it would voluntarily remove azodicarbonamide, a chemical that makes texture more consistent, as part of its “bread improvement efforts.”

And that’s a good thing.

Last month, First Lady Michelle Obama announced plans to enlist Subway , the largest restaurant chain in the country, in her effort to get kids to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Subway, the first quick-service restaurant chain to join Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign, is offering apples instead of chips and either milk or water in place of sodas as a choice for kids’ meals. The meals are 600 calories or less, contain no trans fat, and provide at least a half serving of fruit and three quarters of a serving of vegetables.

But activist blogger Vani Hari, who is known as the Food Babe, claimed victory after Subway said that it would discontinue using the chemical in its breads. She obtained more than 57,000 signatures on a petition asking the chain to change its recipe. The company already sells azodicarbonamide-free bread in its overseas markets.

The World Health Organization, ABC reports, has linked the chemical additive to respiratory issues, allergies and asthma, and it is banned in Europe and Australia.

Azodiacarbonamide is legal in the United States and Canada. The FDA makes a distinction between an industrial strength grade variation of the ingredient and “another version that the FDA considers safe for bakers. So does McDonald’s.

McDonald’s said in a prepared statement that azodicarbonamide is a “common food additive and is used in many items on your grocer’s shelves, including many hot dog buns and other bread products that you probably already purchase.”

Nonetheless, Schumer appears to be set on pushing the FDA to ban the chemical in food products. After all, it is banned “in most of the developed world,” he said.

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