Is Boxed Mac And Cheese Healthy? Potentially Harmful Chemicals Identified In Popular Brand, Report Says
17 Julio, 2017, 20:57
The chemicals, commonly referred to as plasticizers, are used in raincoats, personal care products, and other items to make them more flexible and harder to break. "Phthalates can migrate into food products during processing, packaging, and preparation".
Macaroni and cheese mixes made with powdered cheese contain high levels of potentially harmful chemicals called phthalates, according to a new study.
The study was published by the Coalition for Safer Food Processing and Packaging, a group of consumers, doctors, scientists, and health advocates. They're also often used in children's toys, but six types of phthalates are banned in the United States for use among kids' toys due to their potential health effects.
The chemical Phthalate is in most boxed mac and cheese, including ones labeled organic.
The concentration of the chemicals in those products was four times higher than in other cheese products, Mike Belliveau, one of the researchers and the executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center, told the Times. Phthalate levels were more than four times higher in macaroni and cheese powder.
The report which is available online says that "Cheese powder generally had higher levels of phthalate than cheese slices".
Sheela Sathyanarayana, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle and Seattle Children's Hospital, told Slate Magazine there's "really no dose that we know that will lead to significant health defects", noting "you'd probably need to eat multiple boxes a day to start seeing clear negative health effects".
Nine of the products analyzed were created by Kraft, which is the leading provider of mac and cheese products across the country.
However, despite small amounts being detected in the products, a spokesperson for the Kraft Heinz Company assures the products are safe and no phthalates are added. "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". She said that while the chemicals can quickly leave our body - taking as little as several hours, sometimes - the concern is the constant exposure we have to them from plastics to food, which can be particularly concerning for pregnant women.
Kraft, one of the most popular mac and cheese brands, denies using the chemical.
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