Mac and cheese powder may pose serious health threat, study says

Nearly All Boxed Mac and Cheese Contains Phthalates New Study Finds

Nearly All Boxed Mac and Cheese Contains Phthalates, New Study Shows

This seemingly harmless food choice (and I use the word food here quite loosely as it barely resembles food) may be a lot more harmful than you might think, according to new independent laboratory research conducted by the Coalition for Safer Food Processing and Packaging. According to latest reports, Mac and Cheese powder have tested positive for toxic Phthalate, which are said to be gender altering chemicals.

While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledges that some phthalates have a direct impact on the reproductive system of animals, they say that "the impact of low level exposure on humans is unknown" and that more research still needs to be done.

Nearly every person, especially kids and college students, can attest that they've lived on mac and cheese at various times in their life.

The study noted that phthalates are not intentionally added to food, but can accidentally migrate to food during packaging, processing, and preparation.

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. Natural cheeses had the lowest levels of the chemical, while processed cheese products had the highest levels.

According to Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Megan McSeveney, for a phthalate to be used in food packaging, "there must be sufficient scientific information to demonstrate the substance is safe under the intended conditions of use".

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Cheese has been one of the most loved processed items that directly reaches the heart of millions all over the world.

These findings are bad news for Kraft Heinz, which owns 76% share of the boxed macaroni and cheese market.

"Kraft should identify and eliminate any phthalates in its cheese products by ensuring that safer alternatives are used in food processing and packaging materials throughout its supply chain", he added. "Our products are safe for consumers to enjoy".

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".

"We don't have a lot of information on how much phthalates are in different foods".

If powdered mac and cheese is your go-to comfort food, a new study detailed in The New York Times reports that your powdered mac and cheese might contain a chemical that could adversely affect your health.

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