Kinder bars 'contain oil believed to cause cancer'
The makers of Kinder have defended the quantities of "likely carcinogens" in their chocolate, saying the substances exist "everywhere in the environment".
The company received criticism from a German food watchdog that called for Kinder Riegel chocolate bars and two other products to be removed from sale.
Foodwatch found the products contained "dangerous" levels of mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAHs), a by-product of refining oil.
MOAHs have been called "likely carcinogenic and mutagenic" by the European Food Safety Authority.
One Foodwatch representative, Johannes Heeg, told the German media: "We recommend not purchasing these products because the levels are simply unacceptable for consumption."
The watchdog added that when it asked Ferrero, the makers of the Kinder Riegel chocolate bar, to remove the products, the company refused.
In defence, Ferrero said: "Traces of mineral oil exist nearly everywhere in the environment and they can be transferred to food in many different ways."
The possibly dangerous substance can be transferred to the chocolate from the inks on its wrapping.
The chocolate-maker called for other companies in the supply chain to help reduce the levels of the potentially harmful substance.
It said: "We are working on technical solutions to minimize the presence of MOAHs."
Ferrero also assured consumers it acted in accordance with food law legislation.