The Azodicarbonamide fiasco

The food babe blogger may indeed mean well and have the very best of intents … but alas, has pushed a bit of nonsense to the surface and generated a considerable degree of completely unwarranted scare mongering.

She has this nonsense up along with a petition urging people to sign …

The every so slight flaw here is that the claim she is making is complete and utter nonsense, Azodicarbonamide may indeed sound rather scary, but it is totally safe and will not cause you any harm at all.

So what does it do? Well, it is basically a flour bleaching agent and an improving agent.

Scare Claim 1: It is used to make Yoga mats …. er yes, so what. We also use water in Nuclear Reactors, but that does not imply we should all stop drinking it. This is simply a compound that like almost every other compound out there, has multiple uses.

Scare Claim 2: It is banned all over the world because it is linked to respiratory issues, allergies and asthma. Yes indeed, this is true, but the context here is its use in the workplace and the issue is if it is inhaled as a pure gas. The fact that it is also used to blow bread is once again not related to this risk in any way.

When I first came across all this the most immediate thought that sprang into my mind was the old well-known warning about dihydrogen monoxide.

You are aware that our water supply is chronically contaminated with dihydrogen monoxide.

The official stance on dihydrogen monoxide is that it is safe for public consumption, but contrary to all that, the dihydrogen monoxide research division has clearly identified the following very real risks associated with it

Each year, Dihydrogen Monoxide is a known causative component in many thousands of deaths and is a major contributor to millions upon millions of dollars in damage to property and the environment. Some of the known perils of Dihydrogen Monoxide are:

  • Death due to accidental inhalation of DHMO, even in small quantities.
  • Prolonged exposure to solid DHMO causes severe tissue damage.
  • Excessive ingestion produces a number of unpleasant though not typically life-threatening side-effects.
  • DHMO is a major component of acid rain.
  • Gaseous DHMO can cause severe burns.
  • Contributes to soil erosion.
  • Leads to corrosion and oxidation of many metals.
  • Contamination of electrical systems often causes short-circuits.
  • Exposure decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes.
  • Found in biopsies of pre-cancerous tumors and lesions.
  • Given to vicious dogs involved in recent deadly attacks.
  • Often associated with killer cyclones in the U.S. Midwest and elsewhere, and in hurricanes including deadly storms in Florida, New Orleans and other areas of the southeastern U.S.
  • Thermal variations in DHMO are a suspected contributor to the El Nino weather effect.


Are you convinced yet that we should ban Dihydrogen Monoxide?

Well before you rush out to insist to your local water company that they need to remove it all from your supply, then you might like to pause and consider that Dihydrogen Monoxide is in fact better known as “water”, so all you would be doing is asking them to cut off your supply.

Bottom Line: Beware of well-intentioned non-experts deploying scare stories about scary sounding chemicals.

So how can we really know?

Goggle a bit and become familiar with the full conversation, and don’t depend upon the word of just one blogger (including me).

Meanwhile over at Subway, they are going to take the Azodicarbonamide out anyway. Business is business, and so if there is a perception that there is something wrong about their product then they need to be seen to be taking action even if it is not actually true at all.


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