Nitrites: “On a product that causes cancer, no acceptable dose!” denounces MP Richard Ramos

Nitrites: “On a product that causes cancer, no acceptable dose!”  denounces MP Richard Ramos

Two days ago, we learned of the upcoming ban on nitrites in dog and cat food, even though the additive is still allowed on our plates. Richard Ramos, MP for Loiret and fully committed against nitrites, spoke in TipsForWomens.

Is animal health more valuable than human health for Europe? This is the question that we can ask ourselves in light of a recent announcement: the European Commission, in an implementing regulation dated June 15, intends to ban nitrites in dog and cat food due to harm to their health. However, these nitrites remain very present in our diet. An aberration for MP Richard Ramos who has been fighting against the additive since 2017. We asked him three questions.

Richard Ramos

You have been fighting against nitrites for a long time. Can we remind you what the problem is?

Richard Ramos : Historically, it was my meeting with Axel Khan, geneticist and president of the League Against Cancer, which pushed me to take up this fight. He saw that I was fighting against junk food and alerted me to the deadly poison that is nitrites in cold meats (a preservative additive, editor’s note). Today, science has decided: ANSES has demonstrated the causal link between nitrites and colorectal cancer in its July 2022 report. But that’s not all, nitrites would have a link with type 2 diabetes as well as the destruction of part of our microbiota.

Despite this, nitrites are still permitted. When the Minister of Agriculture lowers rates, he does not rely on the ANSES report, but on another study carried out by INRAE ​​which qualifies the risks. However, as I have demonstrated, this 2 million euro study was financed by the charcuterie industry. We know that it kills, but we prefer to protect animals more. I have nothing against it, I like them a lot. But to say that they are more impacted because they eat it more often is nonsense: for a product that causes cancer, there is no acceptable daily intake!

Why do our cold meats still contain nitrites?

We have been told for years that without these additives, botulism would return. But the argument does not hold. Since the return of nitrite-free hams, 200 million slices of nitrite-free hams are eaten per year in Europe. And no return of botulism!

Moreover, all brands today have a nitrite-free range. The real reason is that lobbyists have every interest today in producing two different power supplies: one for the richest without nitrite, with an additional production cost of 2 cents, but sold for 60 cents more… And another with nitrites , much cheaper, not because it is cheaper to produce, but because it allows the price of nitrite-free products to be increased, and a greater margin to be achieved.

You should know that in factories, the same line is used with the same meat. The nitrites are simply added at one stage. But the “lag” strategy created between the two offers allows for a higher margin.

NO to diets, YES to WW!

Can we nevertheless hope for a ban on these additives?

We’re going to have them banned, I’m going to get there, it’s a question of time and public health. With two possibilities: either the President of the Republic takes up the matter, and says to himself that before the end of the five-year term, he chooses to protect the poorest consumers. Either because my text voted in Parliament will be taken up in the Senate before returning. And there I am hopeful that we will win it.