If you ever feed your kids Kellogg’s cereals, you should know there may be a hidden danger in the packaging. In fact, complaints from customers motivated Kellogg’s to recall a whopping 28 million boxes of Corn Pops, Honey Smacks, Froot Loops and Apple Jacks after customer complaints.
The customers had no idea the packaging was the problem. They said the cereal smelled bad, tasted ‘off” and, after eating or smelling it, they felt nauseous, vomited, or had diarrhea.
Kellogg’s didn’t disclose the precise information about the cause, but said they had found “slightly elevated levels” of a food packaging “substance” in the box liners.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) contacted Kellogg’s for more information and was told that the substance was methylnaphthalene, a petroleum-based chemical that had “leached” into the cereal from the package liner. A nurse at Kellogg’s, the one who gave EWG the information, also said that methylnaphthalene has a Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) rating from the FDA. But when EWG staff checked the FDA’s GRAS listings online, it was nowhere to be found.
Methylnaphthalene is a component of crude oil and coal tar, and a combustion byproduct of tobacco, wood, petroleum-based fuels and coal. It has been the subject of testing and investigation for some time, but almost nothing is known about its safety.
Nevertheless, it’s produced in great quantities in the U.S., is apparently FDA approved, and is used in packaging our food and as a coating on cheese, raw fruits and vegetables.
One more reason to go organic. Find out more details on the research-to-date, along with the EPA and FDA position on the EWG site.