Cereal makers are reviewing their packaging policies after new research warned that recycled card made from newspapers could pose a cancer risk to consumers.

Scientists from the Food Safety Laboratory in Zurich claim the mineral oils present in newspaper ink and retained in the cardboard could subsequently pass into foodstuffs such as cereal, rice and pasta.

Long-term exposure to the chemicals could be harmful to the health of consumers’, causing organ damage and possibly cancer.

Plastic inner bags are not able to prevent the oils contaminating food inside recycled boxes, although aluminium foil is effective.

Jordan’s told the Press Association it had “reluctantly” decided to stop using recycled card for its boxes in light of the findings.

A spokesman for Kellogg’s said: “While experts tell us there's no immediate health concern, we are looking at our packaging.

“We are working with our suppliers on new packaging which allows us to meet our environmental commitments but will also contain significantly lower levels of mineral oil.”

He added: “We are also looking at alternative inner liners for our packets.”

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Focus On Packaging (22 January 2011)