Risky chemicals detected in macaroni and cheese powder

18 July, 2017, 05:56 | Author: Eloise Marshall
  • Nearly All Boxed Mac and Cheese Contains Phthalates, New Study Shows

New research suggests macaroni and cheese powder contains high concentrations of potentially risky chemicals.

The toxic chemical additives found in plastic and products like ink, coatings and adhesives and according to reports this toxic chemical winds up in high-fat and highly processed foods.

The study found that the highly processed cheese powders in boxed mac and cheese mixes, even organic boxed mac and cheese, contained the highest concentrations of these chemicals.

The analysis was done by the the Coalition for Safer Food Processing & Packaging, a consortium of environmental health advocacy groups, and has not been published in a peer reviewed journal.

I've been jokingly telling clients for years that phthalates and other chemicals are derived from petrochemicals that can not be used in powering our vehicles. The chemicals aren't meant to be in food, or find their way into human bodies. Diet is considered a major route of exposure to these chemicals. These are easily absorbed by body cells and get absorbed into the system.

Nearly every person, especially kids and college students, can attest that they've lived on mac and cheese at various times in their life. They pose a risk to pregnant women and young children. According to the National Toxicology Program, the phthalate DEHP is likely to cause cancer, based on evidence in mice. Past research has linked the chemical to health issues including hormone disruption and lower sperm count.

Phthalates have not been banned from foods in the US.

Phthalates are often added to plastic or food to increase flexibility but are not banned by the FDA. It is believed that the chemicals migrate into food from packaging and equipment used in manufacturing.

The report which is available online says that "Cheese powder generally had higher levels of phthalate than cheese slices".

The laboratory tested 30 different cheese products, ranging from cheese powder to processed cheese, as well as hard, shredded, string and cottage cheese. "The trace amounts that were reported in this limited study are more than 1,000 times lower than levels that scientific authorities have identified as acceptable". "Our products are safe for consumers to enjoy". An associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle and Seattle Children's Hospital told the magazine that there's no accepted level of phthalates that's been deemed harmful, and consumers would "probably need to eat multiple boxes a day to start seeing clear negative health effects". In contrast, the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) has failed to take action in response to growing concerns and scientific consensus.

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