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Chemicals that can cause cancer and infertility are 'widespread' in packaged products like Cheerios: report


Published January 4, 2024, 3:32 pm ET

Potentially dangerous levels of plastic chemicals are “widespread” in popular food products like Cheerios, Coca-Cola and Gerber cereal, according to a report.

Consumer Reports, the nonprofit advocacy group, tested 85 foods sold in supermarkets and fast-food chains and found some level of plastic chemicals in 84 of them.

The chemicals, called “plasticizers” or phthalates, penetrate primarily through packaging materials and can cause cancer, infertility, birth defects, obesity and other significant health problems, the report said.

The group is calling on the government to ban the use of phthalates.

Products with the highest plastic content included Yoplait's Original Low Fat French Vanilla; vanilla ice cream from Ben & Jerry's; Wendy's Crispy Chicken Nuggets; Burger King's Whopper; The original Cheerios from General Mills; According to the report, there are ground chicken breasts from Perdue and sliced ​​peaches from Del Monte.

According to a consumer report, boxes of General Mills Cheerios contained elevated levels of plastic chemicals. sheilaf2002 –

None of the levels exceeded U.S. limits deemed unsafe by regulators, but scientists say any level of plastic in food can be dangerous, according to the report.

According to the report, this popular noodle brand landed at the top of the list of foods that contained plastic chemicals. Annie is home grown

Previous efforts to reduce consumer exposure to plastics “focused on packaging,” the release said. “However, it is now clear that phthalates in particular can penetrate through the plastic in the hoses, conveyor belts and gloves used in food processing and can even pass directly into meat and arise from contaminated water and soil.”

The chemicals can also contaminate food via lined metal cans and plastic wrap, according to the report.

Lined cans can be a source of plastic chemicals. Del monte

Consumer Reports found that some packaged products had very low levels of plastic contamination compared to competitors. For example, Pizza Hut's original pan pizza contained half as much plastic as Domino's hand-diced cheese pizza.

Consumer Reports tested 85 popular foods for the presence of plastic chemicals. Consumer Reports

Beech-Nut Fruities Pouch Pear, Banana & Raspberries also had half as much plastic as Gerber Mealtime for Baby Harvest Turkey Dinner.

Meanwhile, Polar Springs seltzer was found to contain no contaminants.

“This tells us that despite the prevalence of these chemicals, there are ways to reduce the levels in our food,” said James Rogers, CR's overseas product safety testing manager.

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