Mac and cheese products contain harmful chemicals, study finds – The Pike County Courier

Posted: August 4, 2017 at 9:44 pm

Scientists say there are no known safe levels of phthalates for pregnant women and young children

Published Jul 30, 2017 at 11:13 am (Updated Jul 28, 2017)

For the study, the coalition contracted with an independent laboratory experienced in the testing of phthalates in food to test 30 cheese products purchased at retail grocery stores in the United States and shipped to the lab, unopened, in their original packaging. Findings revealed:Phthalates in nearly every cheese product tested (29 of 30 samples), with 10 different phthalates identified and up to six found in a single product.Phthalates in eight of the nine Kraft cheese product samples tested.Toxic chemical phthalates at levels on average more than four times higher in macaroni and cheese powder than in hard cheese blocks and other natural cheese.DEHP, the most widely banned phthalate around the world, in all 10 macaroni and cheese powders. DEHP accounted for nearly 60 percent of all phthalates found in the cheese product samples that were tested.

The cheese powers in ten varieties of macaroni and cheese products tested all contain toxic industrial chemicals (known as phthalates), according to the Coalition for Safer Food Processing and Packaging, a national alliance of leading public health and food safety groups.

Phthalates (THAL-eights) are hormone-disrupting chemicals that can lower testosterone, the male sex hormone, and alter thyroid function. Scientists have linked exposure to some phthalates, during pregnancy and early childhood, to changes in the developing brain that may result in kids who grow up struggling to succeed in school, at work, and in life.

Serving up one of Americas favorite comfort foods shouldnt mean exposing your children and family to harmful chemicals, said Mike Belliveau, executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center, a coalition member.

Two million boxes of macaroni and cheese are sold every day in the United States.

An ‘indirect’ food additiveScientists say there are no known safe levels of phthalates for vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women and young children,” said Charlotte Brody, RN, national director of Healthy Babies Bright Futures, a coalition member.

Federal scientists reported this year that up to 725,000 American women of childbearing age may be exposed daily to phthalates at levels that threaten the healthy development of their babies, should they become pregnant.

Scientists agree that for most people, the greatest exposure to phthalates comes from the food we eat.

Phthalates are not intentionally added to food, but are classified as indirect food additives by government agencies. Industrial chemicals commonly added to plastics, rubber, adhesives, inks, and coatings, phthalates have been shown to migrate into food products during food processing, packaging, and preparation.

Source: Center for Food Safety: centerforfoodsafety.org

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Mac and cheese products contain harmful chemicals, study finds – The Pike County Courier

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