According to Food Production Daily, last week hundreds of thousands of noodles were withdrawn from the shelves in Germany because they found 3 times the legal limits of Benzophenone and 4-Methylbenzophenone. What is that ? I'm not exactly sure but I am certain that it is something I wouldn't knowingly put in my body.
This isn't the first time this has happened. Since 2009, alarm bells have been ringing about Mineral Oils leaching from packaging into the food. And you thought you only had to worry about BPA in the lining of your cans.
These Mineral Oils are known carcinogens and are thought to accumulate in the liver, heart valves and lymph nodes, according to Pira International, (Food Contact & Packaging Agency).
“However, these are all long-term chronic affects and people eating a balanced diet should not suffer any adverse health consequences in the short or medium term and, maybe not in the longer term unless their exposure is particularly high,” said Kernoghan, (Harrington, 2011).
Hmmm. Well I am glad that these are long term affects and I am not going to get liver cancer tomorrow. Thankfully, it could be years down the track, so pass me the Weeties, please.
The problem with the packaging stems from the recycled paper and board used. Unfortunately they are finding that the ink used in the paper and board that they recycle into the packaging of our cereals and grains, is toxic and leaching into the food. The ink is responsible for up to 25% of the contamination.
How can they fix this problem? Well, one option is to use less recycled paper and more virgin paper but this will have a huge environmental impact, plus the EU is under a lot of pressure to meet recycling standards. Another option is to produce a plastic lining with a mineral oil barrier. Can't wait to find out what they put in that. Or they could change the formulations of the inks, which will take years before we see the results in the packaging.
With so many untested, unregulated chemicals on the market this is just another reason to EAT LESS PROCESSED FOOD!
Pira on: Mineral Oil Contamination of Food Packed in Recycled Paper and Board, [online],10 March 2011-last update,Available:http://www.pira-international.com/testing/mineral-oil-contamination-of-food-packed-in-recycled-paper-and-board.aspx[20 April 2011]
Harrington,19-Apr-2011,foodproductiondaily,(online).Available:http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Packaging/Germany-withdraws-noodles-after-benzophenone-leaches-from-packaging?[20 April 2011]