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Is Black Pepper Toxic?

Discussion in 'News & Current Events' started by freeatlast, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. freeatlast

    freeatlast New Member

    Mar 1, 2004
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    Black pepper is ubiquitous on the world's dining tables, but recently, I was asked if it can be poisonous. The answer is, maybe, but you would have to use an awful lot of pepper for a long time to run into trouble. The concern about pepper arises from one of its components, safrole, also found in small amounts in star anise, nutmeg, witch hazel, and basil. In the 1960s, the FDA banned the use of safrole in food in the United States after it was found that injecting large amounts caused liver cancer in lab rats....
  2. Gina B

    Gina B Active Member

    Dec 30, 2000
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    I love pepper! Thankfully, not enough to inject it into myself in large amounts so I guess my liver will survive.

    Anything in this world is toxic in large amounts. Even water.

    I do wish I could find whole nutmeg out here. That one I'm aware of as far as toxicity. Still, I use it in small amounts in my cooking and occasionally use it to top whipped cream on coffee.

    Fresh ground pepper is a staple that gets used almost every day though. I sure hope nobody goes insane and bans it! I'd not want them to ban nutmeg either, but at least that one would be more understandable as it is available whole. I'll bet some ijit one day is going to ruin it for all of us by misusing it and giving the FDA the idea that it should be banned.