|NEWS RELEASE||May 21, 2009|
Carcinogen Found in KFC's New Grilled Chicken
Doctors Ask KFC to Withdraw Kentucky Grilled Chicken After Tests Reveal PhIP
WASHINGTON—Tests of KFC's new Kentucky Grilled Chicken have revealed substantial amounts of a carcinogenic chemical in all samples tested, according to a report released today by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), which is asking KFC to withdraw the product from sale.
A PCRM scientist visited six different KFC stores, obtained two samples from each location, and sent them to an independent testing laboratory. All 12 samples were found to contain PhIP, a chemical classified as a carcinogen by the federal government. PhIP, part of a chemical family known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs), has been linked to several forms of cancer, including breast cancer, in dozens of scientific studies. No safe level of ingestion has been identified. Every sample also tested positive for at least one additional type of HCA.
The new KFC grilled chicken products were the focus of a controversial promotion by Oprah Winfrey, who offered coupons for free Kentucky Grilled Chicken meals on her Web site. PCRM has alerted Ms. Winfrey to these findings.
"Just as the fat and cholesterol in fried chicken have prompted concerns about heart attacks and obesity, the carcinogenic chemicals found in Kentucky Grilled Chicken raise serious concerns about cancer risk," said Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H., a PCRM toxicologist. "No parent would knowingly serve carcinogens to a child, and parents have no idea these chemicals are in KFC products. We are asking KFC to withdraw Kentucky Grilled Chicken."
PhIP and other HCAs do not exist naturally in chicken; they form when animal muscle is cooked to high temperatures. The National Toxicology Program administered by the National Institutes of Health has identified PhIP as carcinogenic, as have the State of California and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.