Warning: living your life could cause cancer

I’ve been seeing this photo of a warning sign at Mc Donald’s floating around the internet for the last few days and it’s starting to make me angry.    Earlier this week someone posted it on former The Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michael’s Facebook Wall, which currently has nearly 5,000 comments, 10,000 likes and 13,000 shares.  Whoa.

This warning is in reference to California’s Proposition 65, which you can read more about here.  It was basically created to warn Californians of chemicals known to cause cancer.  Here’s the thing; the common reaction I keep seeing to this sign is “OMG, McDonald’s food is crap. Don’t eat this food or feed it to your kids.”  While that is a valid reaction to McDonald’s food for other reasons, it should not be due to this warning.  As a matter of fact, if you’re going to stop eating McDonald’s food because of this warning, you should also skip anything that has been browned and probably go ahead and adopt a raw diet too.

If you read the entire warning, you’ll learn they’re referencing browned potatoes, as the browning process apparently produces a chemical called acrylamide, which is known to cause cancer.  This, however, is NOT specific to McDonald’s or potatoes.  While I understand people who aren’t familiar with these warnings in California might be confused, this warning pertains to everything – and I mean EVERYTHING.

Anyway, to prove my point, here are a couple of photos of other Prop 65 warning signs I’ve seen around the area and in my very own apartment complex. I didn’t get a photo but I’ve even seen them at the supermarket too!

Sign at Target Starbucks

Sign outside my apartment complex. Not related to food, but still related to Prop 65.

So while this sign at McDonald’s might make you want to re-think your Big Mac, should you stop shopping at the supermarket, drinking coffee and living in your apartment complex?  The choice is yours.

(To give full disclosure, I don’t really know how dangerous acrylamide is or how I feel about it.  While I don’t entirely trust government organizations like the FDA, I suspect if it was that dangerous, they’d probably advise we stop eating it, which this sign does not.  Just a guess.  If you’re interested you can see what they have to say about it here.)

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