Get All Access for $5/mo

Regulations Get Sticky as the Danes Ban the Danish Cinnamon is a health risk in Europe, and that threatens the warm, sweet goodness that Denmark is known for.

By Ray Hennessey Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There is something rotten in Denmark, and it is the regulation of the danish by the Danish.

The Danes are pushing back against a government regulation that will essentially slash sales of the Kanelsnegle. The Kanelsnegle is a coiled bun of sugary goodness that we Americans (who would no doubt mangle the pronunciation of Kanelsnegle anyway) call the danish.

Why has the Danish government declared war on the danish? Well, the staple of the danish is a common form of cinnamon known as cassia. Cassia contains a toxic chemical known as coumarin. The European Union wants to limit the use of coumarin, since studies have shown it can lead to liver issues. (Putting aside, of course, the many studies that have shown the health benefits of cinnamon.)

Related: Transportation Department Wants to Ban In-Flight Calls

Denmark has decided to implement the EU rules, which amount to a limit of 15 mg of cinnamon per kilogram of baked goods. As Hardy Christensen, head of the Danish Baker's Association, told the Telegraph, "It's the end of the cinnamon roll as we know it."

It is a somewhat puzzling regulatory intrusion, because Danish regultors (or, danish regulators) could have taken a pass, deeming the Kanelsnegle a "traditional" food and therefore exempt from the regulations. Indeed, the EU carved out traditional and seasonal dishes from the regulations, as if they never envisioned the Danish banning the danish. Sweden did just that with its Kanelbullar. In the end, the Danish authorities decided what's good for the Kanelbullar isn't always good for the Kanelsnegle. Go figure.

Here in the States, coumarin is already on our regulatory radar. In fact, it is against the law to add it to products that don't already contain it. It seems a natural next step to look more closely at whether the availability of coumarin in mainstream cinnamon use is bad for us. If you love your Cinnabon at the mall (meaning, if you live and breathe and are blessed with taste buds), you might not know that its signature taste is not "true" cinnamon, but rather Makara cassia, which contains coumarin. To us, that is just hot, gooey goodness. To the food police, who do hold some sway here, it might be a health risk.

Will cinammon face increased scrutiny here? It's unclear. But lost again in this debate is the role of the individual to exercise some personal responsibility and control. Of all the things to worry about when it comes to danishes or cinnamon rolls, a little cinnamon should be low on the list. As Paul Nuttall, deputy leader of the UK Independence Party, told the Telegraph: "An average person would have to eat so many Danish pastries in order to be affected, they would certainly die of obesity before being hurt by a low level of cinnamon."

Related: In Taking Aim at 23AndMe, Regulators Missed the Mark

Ray Hennessey

Former Editorial Director at Entrepreneur Media

Ray Hennessey is the former editorial director of Entrepreneur.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

Wells Fargo Reportedly Fired More Than a Dozen Employees for Faking Keyboard Activity

The bank told Bloomberg that it "does not tolerate unethical behavior."


7 Ways You Might Be Damaging Your Credibility as an Entrepreneur

Here are seven credibility killers entrepreneurs need to be aware of.

Business Solutions

Why Every Solopreneur Needs to Embrace AI-Powered Teams

With the right approach, solopreneurs can harness AI to drive efficiency, productivity and business growth.

Side Hustle

These Are the 10 Best Online Side Hustles of 2024 to Earn Extra Cash

From teaching to testing artificial intelligence, these side hustles can earn you quick cash from home.


The Key to Real Innovation Is Cross-Pollination — Here Are 10 Ways to Implement It in Your Business

Transform your business with this unique approach to sparking innovation.


Clean up Your Mac Software with This $12 Family Plan, for One Week Only

Save on a program that can optimize your company's Mac computers.