NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - The maker of the internationally popular hazel nut and chocolate spread Nutella has launched a TV campaign in Italy to counter a stinging message from European food safety officials that one of its main ingredients is potentially carcinogenic.
Last year, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said that palm oil could create a carcinogenic contaminant known as GE when refined at temperatures above 392 Fahrenheit.
In its counter campaign, Nutella says it does not use palm oil at the refining level in question.
Also, despite it's cancer claim, the EFSA did not recommend a ban on the use of palm oil nor that people stop consuming it.
According to the Ferrero website, palm oil is the best ingredient for giving Nutella the right smoothness and its spreadability.
"Making Nutella without palm oil would produce an inferior substitute for the real product, it would be a step backward," Ferrero's purchasing manager Vincenzo Tapella told Reuters news service.
Since the announcement, some companies in Europe have moved away from using palm oil.
The European Commission has also said it would not ban its use and that further study was needed.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not banned the use of palm oil in food, either.