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Dangerous Snacks

We are ingesting dangerous chemicals in ordinary foods and no, they DON'T all come from China! Studies have shown that some workers making chemically-flavored "buttered" microwave popcorn made with a chemical called diacetyl have come down with lung disease. Now it turns out it may also be dangerous to EAT it, because we inhale the fumes when we open the bag. And kids who can't concentrate in school may be affected by chemicals in their foods.

In the September 6 edition of the Independent, Leonard Doyle quotes food consultant Cecil Rose, who was hired to investigate the mysterious lung disease that was affecting workers in a factory that produced microwave popcorn. The same disease afflicted a Colorado man whose job was NOT making popcorn. Doyle quotes Rose as saying, "I said to him this is a very weird question but bear with me, are you around a lot of popcorn? His jaw dropped. 'How could you possibly know that about me? I am Mr. Popcorn. I love popcorn.'" It turns out he had eaten it twice a day for the last ten years. Rose says, "When he broke open the bags, after the steam came out, he would often inhale the fragrance because he liked it so much. That's heated diacetyl, which we know from the workers' studies is the highest risk."

In the same issue of the Independent, Martin Hickman writes that additives in major brands of candy, cookies and soda pop have been found to cause hyperactivity in children. He reports that "primary school children tested by Southampton University were more restless when they drank a mixture of six colorings and one preservative." Many of these are in the snacks and foods they eat every day.

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