Arsenic in rice is bad enough–A US federal court jury recently awarded Wayne Watson over 7 million dollars in damages for developing a chronic condition known as "popcorn lung," after repeatedly inhaling the a chemical called diacetyl, which is used to give a "butter" flavor to microwave popcorn. The condition is an irreversible obstructive lung disease that makes it difficult for air to flow out of the lungs.
The verdict was the latest in a group of cases in the past 15 years that started with workers in popcorn plants. Similar cases are pending in federal court in Iowa and in state court in New York. In this case, the jury reached its verdict in a day, after a nine-day trial.