Powdered mac and cheese, like Kraft, may contain toxic chemicals

Mac and cheese reportedly full of chemicals and the internet is not having it

Ten varieties of boxed mac and cheese were tested, including some organic brands, and all were found to have high phthalate levels.

But could serving up one of America's favorite comfort foods be exposing you to harmful chemicals?

These chemicals are responsible for disrupting hormones, according to the worldwide medical organization, Endocrine Society.

While she stressed she did not knowingly eat Kraft products during her pregnancy, she said if she'd known the possibly damaging effects of phthalates, she would have done her best to avoid the chemicals while she was pregnant. "In fact, phthalates were in eight of the nine items of individual Kraft cheese products we tested, including its iconic Macaroni and Cheese". Many fragrances contain phthalates, so choose unscented personal-care products, from cleansers, moisturizers and cosmetics to shampoo and detergents.

The Food and Drug Administration has yet to ban the chemicals from food, where researchers have found it's most risky to children. The worst offenders were the powdered cheeses from macaroni and cheese items, where levels of the potentially risky chemicals were four times higher than in other processed cheese products.

Phthalates were found in nearly every cheese products tested (29 out of 30), and levels of the chemicals were more than four times higher in mac and cheese powder samples, compared to hard blocks or natural cheeses.

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"Our belief is that it's in every mac "n" cheese product - you can't shop your way out of the problem", Mike Belliveau, executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center, one of the four advocacy groups that funded the report, told The New York Times.

The study was conducted by the Coalition for Safer Food Processing and Packaging which is basically a group of consumers, scientists, doctors, and health activists. Officials with Kraft did not respond to requests for comment on the report and its findings.

"Parents and their children", Lehner said, "should not have to wait longer to know that their food does not contain toxic chemicals".

The FDA is aware of phthalates in our food and considers them to be "indirect food additives". The spokeswoman said: "The FDA continues to monitor literature and research on these compounds as it becomes available".

The chemicals migrate into food from food-processing equipment such as plastic tubing, conveyor belts and gaskets and other plastic materials used in the manufacturing process, and can also seep in from printed labels or plastic materials in the packaging. Thus, the chemical interference into the system will disrupt the functioning of hormones. But what if they're getting a dose of chemicals too?

Recently, the European Union banned most phthalates for plastics in contact with fatty foods, including every dairy product. The study has also claimed that it may pose very serious risks to pregnant women and young children.

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