Danish News in Brief: Potentially harmful chemical found in snacks aimed at kids

In other news, measles and high smoking rates continue to dog the nation, but good news is everywhere as spring is in the air

Worrying levels of the chemical acrylamide have been found in products aimed at children, according to tests carried out by the Forbrugerrådet consumer council.

The chemical tends to forms in starchy food products when they are overcooked or burnt (like toast and French fries), and it is thought to be carcinogenic.

Biscuits, oatcakes, root vegetable crisps
Out of 29 products tested, six contained levels exceeding EU recommendations.

Among the products were Bornholm Rugkiks, Ella’s Kitchen Vanilla + Banana Baby Biscuits, and All-in-one Rodfrugt-kiks.

Løkke intends to raise cigarette prices – after an April election?
PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen has indicated he is ready to substantially raise tobacco prices as a way of deterring young people from picking up the habit – but not until after the general election, which is expected to take place in June at the latest, although speculation is growing it could take place in mid-April. Around 40 young Danes start smoking every day, according to Statens Institut for Folkesundhed, and for the first in 20 years the number of smokers grew last year. Cigarettes in Denmark cost 40-45 kroner a pack, which is around half the price in Norway and the UK.

PET undercover agent gets financial allowance
Morten Storm, the undercover agent who infiltrated Islamist circles and passed on the information to the PET intelligence agency, has been awarded a financial allowance, reports Jyllands-Posten. A panel working under the auspices of the Employment Ministry, Arbejdsmarkedets Erhvervssikring has ruled that Storm is suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome following his work as an agent from 2006-11.

Another measles case – this time contracted from an unknown source
A four-year-old child has contracted measles in the Copenhagen area, confirms Statens Serum Institut – the seventh recent occurrence. However, the new case is a different type of measles virus to the previous six. There are fears the measles might have spread at the child’s daycare and specifically in the casualty department at Hvidovre Hospital on March 9 between 11:15 and 16:15. The child in question has not been travelling, which means there is an unknown source currently in Denmark, most likely related to Germany, Italy, or eastern Europe.

House prices rise to record level, although inflation tells a different story
House prices rose by 4.2 percent in 2018, and levels are now higher than before the financial crisis in 2007, reports Finans Danmark. A 140 sqm home on average costs 1.923 million kroner. In Copenhagen, where prices are higher, a 140 sqm home costs 5.088 million, while prices are lowest in west Jutland (1.230) and on Bornholm (0.988). Nevertheless, house prices are still 14 percent lower than 2007 when inflation is taken into consideration.

Municipality changes the name of a street by mistake
Kolding Municipality last week officially changed the name of one of its streets – by mistake. A municipality employee accidentally renamed Nørregade as Zinzendorfgade, and because the municipal and state IT systems are connected, the change has been implemented everywhere, affecting 65 residences on the street. However, the mistake was discovered in time to stop them being issued with new health cards.

Spring is in the air: sunny weather beckons this week blue skies a-plenty
Denmark can look forward to some proper spring weather over the next four days, according to DMI. Clear skies and sunshine will dominate, with only Wednesday (the odd burst) and Friday ( a windier affair) bringing any chances of rain. Temperatures could reach as high as 12 degrees on Tuesday.

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