Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Don't worry, corn tortillas don't cause cancer

Remember the WOAI Trouble Shooters story last February about the investigation into whether or not corn tortillas might cause cancer in San Antonio? Well, the results are in. The tortillas are probably safe to eat.

The News 4 Trouble Shooters reported earlier this year that your tax dollars were being used to study whether certain foods, like corn tortillas and peanut butter, are causing liver cancer on the south side.

When they get moldy, these foods can carry a microtoxin that has been connected to liver cancer in other parts of the world. Corn, in particular, was linked to a high rate of liver cancer in one part of Africa.

That is why researchers from Texas A&M focused on corn tortillas, to see if they might be connected to the liver cancer rate around the former Kelly Air Force base - a rate about twice as high as the rest of Texas.

"There was a study that was specifically done in South Texas that showed that there are certain corn products that do have relatively high levels of these chemicals in them. So, yes, we are suspicious of corn products," said Dr. Kirby Donnelly, who led the research study.

But it looks like the tortilla theory has fallen flat.


At most, tortillas are just a small, contributing factor along with things like alcohol use, pollution and liver conditions, such as hepatitis.

(WOAI-TV story here.)

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