Mac and Cheese: Is America’s Favorite Side Dish Deadly?

Contributed by BreAnna Bell

On an episode of his talk show, Dr. Oz and his daughter, Daphne, deconstructed one of America’s favorite household foods Mac and cheese after finding evidence of chemicals called phthalates, a man-made substances that have been shown to interfere with human hormones, in most boxed mac and cheese brands.

Researchers from an independent lab found that all but one brand of boxed mac and cheese (out of 30 tested) contained phthalates. The highest levels were found in the cheesy powder to make the sauce.

The testing was paid for by an advocacy organization, The Coalition for Safer Food Processing and Packaging but, the report wasn’t published in a peer-reviewed journal and it doesn’t specify how the levels found in mac and cheese compare with what has been reported to be a problem in scientific articles.

The FDA claims while there is a variety of how phthalates can be used with food contact, there are three main regulated classes where the chemical is used: polymers, adhesives and metal coatings.They can also be added to packaging adhesives for flexibility or to coatings applied to protect metal surfaces such as can coatings and storage tanks. Various phthalates are allowed in specified food contact substances as allowed by regulation.

Phthalates are extremely common and used in most packaged items, however, according to NBC News, its unclear the effects this chemical has on humans because 90 percent of people carry some evidence of them in their bodies.

 

WHUR Contributor


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