The backlash against popcorn flavoring diacetyl continues, as one Indianapolis company has agreed to reduce its use of the chemical in popcorn flavoring in order to pay a smaller fine in a settlement with state regulators. As part of the agreement, the company also wrapped up its claims that the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration had been harassing it over the potential health risks at the plant. [More]
A man in Colorado is claiming in a lawsuit against grocery chain King Soopers that there is indeed, a condition called popcorn lung, and he’s got it after eating microwave popcorn from the store. He says King Soopers should’ve warned him that an ingredient in the popcorn’s butter flavoring called diacetyl could be dangerous. However the chain’s lawyers say his health issues aren’t due to an overabundance of the snack, but because he worked with cleaning chemicals for years.
Alzheimer’s has proved a mysterious disease for researchers who have been trying to pinpoint what can cause it, and how it can be deterred. Researchers now think they’ve got another insight into what could cause Alzheimer’s after studying an ingredient called diacetyl, a flavoring often used to make microwave popcorn smell and test buttery.
“We want to assure our consumers they can continue to enjoy their favorite popcorn with complete confidence,” said Stan Jacot, who oversees popcorn marketing for ConAgra.
Although there has been one consumer case of “popcorn lung,” there’s no real danger to consumers who don’t eat microwave popcorn several times a day. The real concern is for those people who work in popcorn plants. Soon, however, you’ll be able to eat your popcorn totally guilt-free. We’d hate to see that nifty “popcorn” button go unused on your microwave.
The House of Representatives passed a bill today that would require OSHA to limit workers’ exposure to diacetyl, the recently popularized butter-flavored chemical used in microwave popcorn and the suspected source of dreaded “popcorn lung.” The White House has threatened to veto any regulation sent its way, and some House Republicans agree. Said Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina, “Fundamentally, the science does not exist to state the link between diacetyl and impaired lung function.” [Reuters]
Recently, after numerous complaints of serious illness from popcorn workers and one complaint of illness from a consumer, ConAgra and Pop Weaver removed diacetyl from its microwave popcorn and now proudly announce to their customers that their product is diacetyl free. Kraft, on the other hand, decided that now would be a good time to introduce a brand new diacetyl-based butter flavor into the market.
Wayne Watson, the man who loved microwave popcorn so much he ate it twice a day for 10 years is speaking out about his condition for the first time.