Fries Under Fire For Cancer Link

What happens when good food and good intentions collide? Well, things can get a little nutty.

The good food: Good old American french fries.

The good intentions: a California law designed to warn people of environmental carcinogens.

The warning labels are everywhere. The focus now: acrylamide, an industrial chemical used to treat wastewater. In super-size doses it causes cancer in lab rats.

When Swedish scientists found low levels in french fries and hundreds of other foods -- literally soup to nuts and coffee -- released by the simple act of cooking, well, that's when food lovers say things got a bit nutty.

There's no proof the low levels in food cause cancer in humans. But that hasn't stopped what some are calling a half-baked, only-in-California movement, to put cancer-warning labels on french fries.

There's even a lawsuit to get McDonalds and Burger King to warn patrons that fries can kill.

"Cigarettes and french fries are both cancer sticks," says attorney Raphael Metzger. "One you smoke, the other you eat."

"I think that's absurd," says renowned L.A. chef Hans Rockenwagner.

Rockenwagner often delights patrons with his gourmet burgers and fries.

"Now we can't even enjoy our french fries," he says. "It's just too much. We just can't start labeling everything."

Especially, critics say, food that mankind's been eating since forever.

"They can put that label out there, people are still going to eat french fries," says chef Chris Behre. "It's not going to stop them.

"I think it would be the least-read bit of text in the entire restaurant,'' says one french fry lover

"If they put a skull and crossbones on them, then I'd stop," says another.

Even the most cautious scientists say the proven risks of eating too many fries far outweigh the cancer risk.

So for now, Rockenwagner says, "everything in moderation."