Taming the Nitrite/Nitrate Monster
For some time, consumers have been ingesting nitrite and nitrate in the form of nutrients in many vegetables and as preservatives for various foods. Yet the two have been under attack since the discovery that meat-curing techniques convert nitrate to nitrite and nitrite to nitrosamines—a class of chemicals found to be carcinogenic in animals. This generated intense research into the safety of cured meats, regulatory reviews, and a potential ban on the use of nitrite to preserve food. Even though a study by the U.S. National Toxicology Program asserted the safety of nitrite in 2000, the specter of nitrite and nitrate remains.
Session 243, “Ingested Nitrite/Nitrate, Endogenous Nitrosamines, and Cancer Risk: A Comprehensive Review,” will present the latest developments in the debate over whether nitrite and nitrate are safe in the human diet. Speakers Andrew Milkowski, Nathan Bryan, James Coughlin, and Dominik Alexander will discuss nitrate/nitrite toxicological studies on animals, high-dose testing methods, the epidemiological effects of lifestyle and socioeconomic factors, and much more on Thursday, June 28, at 10:30 a.m. in room N117.