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Time for a Kraft Mac & Cheese Recall? Phthalates Found in Powdered Cheese for Mac and Cheese
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16 Jul 2017 05:56 PM EST

-by Chanel Adams, Staff Writer; Image: A bowl of Kraft Mac & Cheese (Image Source: Linuxerist via Wikimedia Commons)

Could Kraft Mac & Cheese be off the store shelves soon?

Dangerous chemicals that were banned from children's toys may be present in macaroni and cheese mixes made with powdered cheese. The chemicals, called phthalates, can affect the male hormones like testosterone. It also has been linked to birth defects in infant boys and learning and behavior problems in older children, reports The New York Times.

The chemicals trickle into the food and packaging from manufacturing and pose a significant risk to pregnant women and children. Past research has also found that phthalates lead to hormone issues and a lower sperm count.

However, the Food and Drug Administration has not banned the chemicals from its foods. In a 2014 report to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, federal agencies were told to investigate the risks "with a view to supporting risk management steps." The report revealed that beverages, drugs, and food – not toys – were the largest sources of exposure to phthalates.

According to a new study of 30 cheese products, all were detected with phthalates in all but one of the samples tested. The highest concentrations were found in mac and cheese mixes made with powdered cheese. The report was conducted by an independent laboratory and paid for by environmental advocacy groups, but has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

"The phthalate concentrations in powder from mac and cheese mixes were more than four times higher than in block cheese and other natural cheeses like shredded cheese, string cheese and cottage cheese," said Mike Belliveau, executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center, one of four advocacy groups that funded the report.

The group has announced a #KleanUpCraft social media campaign to prompt Kraft to remove the chemicals from its products. In an open letter to the Kraft Heinz company, representatives from the coalition asked the company to remove the "toxic industrial chemicals" from their products.

"For pregnant women and young children, who are the most vulnerable groups, food is often the number one source of phthalates exposure," the letter read. "And fatty foods, including dairy products, tend to be the greatest contributor of dietary exposure to phthalates."

The Kraft Heinz company has released a statement to TIME. A spokesperson for the company insisted that phthalates are not added to its mac and cheese products and "the trace amounts that were reported in this limited study are more than 1,000 times lower than levels that scientific authorities have identified as acceptable. Our products are safe for the consumers to enjoy."

It looks like Kraft Mac & Cheese won't be removed from store shelves anytime soon. The Kraft Heinz company is standing by its word that it doesn't possess dangerous chemicals in its mac and cheese products. Considering that eight out of nine of Kraft's mac and cheese products contain phthalates, it sounds like it's something that they should consider. Recently, the European Union banned most phthalates in plastics, fatty foods, and dairy products. Hopefully, the Kraft Heinz company will take this study most seriously and act accordingly.

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Recently Posted Comments
Date: 18 July, 2017
Posted by: snigdha
Comment: Kraft Mac & Cheese is one of the most favourites and most used products and we people really are in a need of knowing the ultimate truth
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