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David Lowe
David Lowe
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Popcorn Chemical Responsible For Lung Disease Dropped From Recipe

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The nation’s leading makers of microwave popcorn are removing the flavoring chemical diacetyl from their recipes. ConAgra announced the change Monday and similar moves have been made by General Mills, American Pop Corn Co. and Weaver Popcorn Company.

I have commented previously on the dangers to consumers and food industry workers, many of whom have suffered serious injuries or died due to the severe lung disease bronchiolitis obliterans, which has been linked to the disease.

The manufacturers have already paid out millions of dollars in settlements for “popcorn workers lung” to food industry workers

It remains to be seen what the manufacturers will use to replace diacetyl. The manufacturers are not sharing that information in their announcements of the move, and some have voice concerns that similar dangers could persist if the new flavorings have concentrations of the same ingredients. Also, diacetyl is used in other food products and workers continue to be exposed to whikel working with this dangerous ingredient.

The removal of this ingredient from the plants and products of the major food manufacturers is a welcome development. But OSHA and the FDA should be vigilant about the ongoing risk of bronchiolitis obliterans to which workers and consumers are exposed.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Defective and Dangerous Products.