New research indicates that macaroni and cheese powder contain high concentrations of potentially hazardous chemicals.
The Coalition for Safer Food Industry and Packaging, the group behind KleanUpKraft.org, tested 30 phthalate cheese products, a group of plastics used to make plastics more flexible. The phthalate level was more than four times higher in macaroni and powdery cheese.
The research, which was not published in the reviewing journal, was paid for by environmental groups.
While the coalition claims that phthalates are a serious threat to pregnancy and child health, the centers for disease control and prevention reveal that the health effects of exposure to low levels of chemicals are unknown. That being said, some phthalates have changed the reproductive systems of laboratory animals, says CDC.
Phthalates can be found in a variety of household and personal care products (thoughts: soaps, hair sprays, rain coats, detergents and floor coverings). Chemicals should not be contained in food, nor should they be found in human bodies. Some phthalates are banned from children’s toys and products. The 2014 Consumer Product Safety Commission warned of their health effects, especially in children and pregnant women.
But it’s clear that people are eating them. CDC found that phthalate exposure was widely distributed in the United States by urine testing as outlined in the Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Chemicals in the Environment. Adult women have the highest level of phthalate metabolites in their systems, mostly attributable to body aesthetic, cosmetics and other personal care products.
Kraft denies the use of chemicals.
“We do not add phthalates to our products,” spokeswoman Kraft Lynne Galia said. “The traces that have been recorded in this limited study are more than 1000 times lower than the levels considered acceptable by scientific authorities.”