The New York Times – It’s been nearly four years since traces of chemicals believed to cause health problems in children and reproductive issues in adults were found in mass-market macaroni and cheese packets
Now Annie’s Homegrown has begun working with its suppliers to eliminate the offending material from their food processing equipment.
The presence of the chemicals, called ortho-phthalates, rattled consumers who rely on the food staple, especially parents.
Phthalates make rigid plastic more flexible material and are commonly used in tubing and conveyor belts found at food manufacturing plants and in food packaging.
They can disrupt male hormones like testosterone and have been linked by some researchers to learning problems in children.
But the plastics industry has argued that food products have been found to contain relatively small amounts of the chemicals, and food regulators have not ruled that they are dangerous to consumers.
The 2017 study, which was funded by environmental advocacy groups and was not published in a peer-reviewed journal, discovered the chemicals in all 10 of the mac and cheese varieties it tested, though the brands were not identified.
“It is likely that all the phthalates will eventually be found to be harmful and banned.” – University of Maryland, Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering
Annie’s, known by its cute bunny logo, disclosed its move in a statement on its website, saying the company was working:
“with our trusted suppliers to eliminate ortho-phthalates that may be present in the packaging material and food processing equipment that produces the cheese and cheese powder in our macaroni and cheese.”
In a statement, a spokeswoman for General Mills, which owns Annie’s, said,
“We are committed to learning more to better understand this emerging issue and determine how Annie’s can be a part of the solution” …
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Knowing that General Mills will continue to manufacture and sell products contaminated with known hormone-disrupting chemicals, would you continue to buy any product bearing their name? Comment below.
General Mills brands include:
- Betty Crocker
- Cascadian Farms
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch
- Cocoa Puffs
- Cookie Crisp
- Count Chocula
- Fiber One / Fibre One
- French Toast Crunch
- Fruit Roll-Ups
- Golden Grahams
- Gold Medal Flour
- Hamburger Helper
- Honey Nut Clusters
- Lucky Charms
- Nature Valley
- Old El Paso
- Peanut Butter Toast Crunch
- Raisin Nut Bran
- Reese’s Puffs
- And many more