The bright yellow-orange color of powder-based mac-and-cheese should have raised red flags alone, but now lab tests have found that at least 10 varieties of these powered macaroni and cheese products, including the popular Kraft brand, contain toxic industrial chemicals, called phthalates, hormone-disrupting chemicals that can cause reproductive and thyroid issues and neurological problems in children and unborn babies.
The Coalition for Safer Food Processing & Packaging is putting its foot down about the issue, calling for “Trump’s Food and Drug Administration” (FDA) to get off its bum and start regulating and prohibiting these chemicals in our foods. But since the agency has yet to act, the coalition is asking Kraft Heinz, maker of the classic blue box Kraft macaroni and cheese, to remove the harmful ingredient from its food.
Kraft has the largest market share of powdered cheese in the industry, and it has taken action in the past when science or consumers raised concerns over the safety of the ingredients in its foods.
The coalition tested 30 cheese products including 10 cheese powders, 5 sliced cheeses and 15 natural cheese samples and found that 29 of them had phthalates. The highest amount of the toxic chemical among all the products was found in the powdered mac and cheese products.
The chemical is an accidental add-on from contact materials during preparation, processing and packaging, and doesn’t lend to flavor or texture. Safer food processing and packaging methods would help curb the infiltration of phthalates in processed foods, the coalition says.
“Parents and their children should not have to wait longer to know that their food does not contain toxic chemicals,” said coalition member Peter Lehner in a statement. “We are asking manufacturers to act now.”
Source: New York Daily News