In a recent report, it appears that chemicals that could be hazardous to the health of humans are being discovered in food. According to new research from consumer reports, phthalates and bisphenols (two chemicals with strong ties to diabetes and hormone issues) are heavily present in grocery store packaging in many food items. These chemicals are often present no matter the label of the food- organic or otherwise. Researchers tested a wide variety of products in fast food restaurants and grocery stores and found that a staggering 99% of items tested contained the chemicals. Phthalates are also known as “plasticizers” and are added to plastics to make them more durable or flexible. 79% of the products were found to contain bisphenols, which is an industrial chemical. Both pose substantial risks to human health.
Among supermarket foods, “Annie’s” brands of organic raviolis had massive amounts of phthalates. Del Monte sliced peaches, chicken of the sea salmon and other foods were among those mentioned. Shockingly, chemical levels in these foods were even higher than at fast food restaurants like McDonald’s. Annie’s raviolis contained 53,579 phthalates per nanogram. In comparison, a McDonald’s quarter pounder contained 9,956 phthalates per nanogram. Caesars classic cheese pizza in a cardboard box contained 5,703 phthalates per nanogram. Wendy’s chicken nuggets contained a staggering 33,980 phthalates per nanogram.
In a related study, high levels of phthalates were also discovered in the backpacks of school children. The study also found that nearly 75% of school supplies related to usage by children contained hazardous and toxic levels of chemicals. Phthalates are a class of chemicals that have strong links to birth defects, infertility, asthma, obesity and diabetes. Scientists randomly purchased 20 back to school items in New York State. Many of these items came from New York City area dollar stores. A Dora backpack contained 69 times more phthalates than the federal limit. The findings are troubling.