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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 06:32 PM
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Groups Urge Limits on Popcorn Additive

Groups Urge Limits on Popcorn Additive

By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press Writer

Friday, September 7, 2007

Two senators, union leaders and researchers urged the federal government Friday to set tougher restrictions on a microwave popcorn additive linked to lung disease among factory workers heavily exposed to it.

The chemical diacetyl, used as a butter flavoring in some microwave popcorn, has been linked to serious lung damage in workers who test hundreds of bags per day and inhale their fumes. It also was tied to disease in one consumer who ate microwave popcorn nightly and breathed the steam from freshly cooked bags.

Democratic Sens. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Patty Murray of Washington sent letters on the matter Friday to the Centers for Disease Control, Food and Drug Administration, and Department of Labor.

"We urge you to examine immediately the risks of consumer exposure to diacetyl," they told the FDA and CDC. In a separate letter, they urged the Labor Department to issue an "emergency temporary standard" for employees regularly exposed to the chemical, saying it "has caused death and serious injury in many workers."

Kennedy said in a statement: "It is shocking that the federal agencies charged with safeguarding American workers and consumers have failed to act, despite the growing evidence that this chemical is a serious threat." Congress will act if the Bush administration does not, he said.

FULL story at link.

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