The Villejuif hospital list. A history of additives


After the Second World War, a growing concern about food and the use of additives in it, especially those related to cancer, was aroused in the European population. Among the most questioned are the preservatives nitrates and nitrites, the sweetener cyclamate and others.

In Villejuif, a French town located south of Paris, a surprising phenomenon arose in 1973 around additives that is known as the Villejuif list, a publication of a list of additives that followed the numbering of the community regulations and their supposed effects on health in a catastrophic tone.

A soft drink factory was located in that French town and at that time there was a labor dispute, possibly what originated this list to attack the local industry.

The list originated from the Villejuif Hospital and a group of health teaching and research centers (Institut Gustave Roussy and Hôpital Paul Brousse) linked to the Paris-South Faculty of Medicine.

The most striking and serious mistake made on the list was referring to E-330, citric acid, which was said to be the most dangerous and carcinogenic of all additives, it seems that without remembering that It is one of the major components of lemon juice, and other citrus fruits. In addition to other no less serious failures in which other additives (colorants) that were with restricted use were classified as harmless.

Below we can see a reproduction of the statement that was made at that time where the following was put:

All these additives are currently authorized in France and Spain. It is, however, our duty to give proof of what they really are.

Stop using these additives by selecting the products you buy!

It is the consumer who determines the options of the manufacturers!


Reproduce this document, distribute it in your environment, post it in visible places and, above all, use it.

This list has done more damage than it seems, since it turns out that although the centers where it supposedly originated denied that these statements were their work and even now they continue to do so, and after that a situation of adversity was created towards additives.

More information | Milk Science - University of Zaragoza Directly to the Palate | Additives
Directly to the Palate | Methylcellulose: Creating False Alarm

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