As reported today in the New York Times, you – and more importantly your kids that are counting on us adults – are potentially at great risk of injury from of all things, macaroni and cheese. How we got here is really not that surprising.
According to the report, the culprit is a chemical called phthalates. It is not a food product, but is an industrial chemical used by manufacturers to soften plastics, ‘and are used in solvents, in adhesives and in ink on packaging.’ Apparently the harmful product can make its way into the food by rubbing off or seeping into the contents, and powdered mac and cheese boxes are at a high risk, according to studies by experts. Nine out of ten products were made by Kraft.
The injuries to children which are linked back to the chemicals are behavior problems in older children, and possibly birth defects in the unborn. European countries – this is getting to sound like a broken record – are ahead of the United States in that they have banned the used of this chemical in many plastics that come into contact with fatty foods, including baby food, but the F.D.A. has continued to allow their use as a ‘food additive.’ With the new administration, you cannot count on any change toward safety by the F.D.A. as they are looking to roll back protective action and regulations imposed by the Agency so that manufacturers will be able to see an uptick in products brought to market.
So, at this point there is no evidence that powdered mac and cheese in the United States will kill you as opposed to simply causing some very serious injuries – something our government seems to consider acceptable collateral damage in the name of capitalism. But , who among us consider our kids acceptable than collateral damage?
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