Can burnt toast and roasted potatoes cause cancer?

Story highlights

  • A new campaign in the UK is warning of cancer risks linked to overcooked starchy foods
  • Frying, baking and roasting foods to a golden color is advised

(CNN)The Food Standards Agency in the UK launched a campaign Monday to warn about cancer risks linked to eating burnt toast, over-roasted potatoes and other starchy foods cooked at high temperatures.

The campaign is based on longstanding evidence from animal studies in 2002, but the link is yet to be proved in human studies. Some experts are highlighting that other lifestyle factors pose much greater cancer risks, such as smoking and obesity.
What exactly is the problem with these overcooked starchy foods? Earlier mouse studies identified that high levels of a compound called acrylamide led to an increased risk of cancer.