Harmful Chemicals Found In Most Mac And Cheese Products, Study Finds

A new study identified allegedly harmful chemicals in Kraft cheese powder. Image courtesy of Flickr user jeepersmedia

A new study identified allegedly harmful chemicals in Kraft cheese powder. Image courtesy of Flickr user jeepersmedia

But a recent study has found harmful chemicals - banned earlier from babies' teething toys - in powdered cheese, packed macaroni and other cheese products consumed by kids.

Phthalates were found in nearly every cheese products tested (29 out of 30), and levels of the chemicals were more than four times higher in mac and cheese powder samples, compared to hard blocks or natural cheeses.

Now, DEHP, that's the most widely banned phthalate around the world, was found in all 10 of the mac and cheese powders tested. As food additives, they are not banned by the FDA, but multiple studies have linked exposure to these chemicals to hormone disruption in boys as well as birth defects in young infant boys.

"The phthalate concentrations in powder from mac and cheese mixes were more than four times higher than in block cheese and other natural cheeses like shredded cheese, string cheese and cottage cheese", said Mike Belliveau, executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center via New York Times.

Lab tests revealed that toxic industrial chemicals, called phthalates, are found in 10 varieties of macaroni and cheese, including eight out of nine Kraft products.

The tried and true box of mac n cheese you feed your kids could be downright risky.

While she stressed she did not knowingly eat Kraft products during her pregnancy, she said if she'd known the possibly damaging effects of phthalates, she would have done her best to avoid the chemicals while she was pregnant. Now, a dozen national health and food safety groups are calling on Kraft, the Big Cheese of the mac world, to push for industry-wide change to get rid of these toxins.

There is strong evidence that phthalates block the production of the hormone testosterone.

Phthalates are hormone-disrupting chemicals used in packaging that can leach into food and pose health risks.

A 2014 report to the Consumer Product Safety Commission urged federal agencies to assess the risks of the chemicals 'with a view to supporting risk management steps'.

INSIDER contacted Kraft for comments but the company did not respond in time for publication.

This bombshell report was just released by the Coalition for Safer Food Processing and Packing.

A spokesperson for the Food and Drug Administration adds that the organization "continues to monitor literature and research on these compounds as it becomes available". Europe has already gotten rid of many phthalates in food production, so there's hope that maybe with enough recognition of the issue the USA could follow suit.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.