Froot Loops contaminated with
2-methylnaphthalene chemical (opinion)
(NaturalNews) As cereal lovers sat down to
enjoy their bowls of Froot Loops, Honey Smacks, Apple Jacks and Corn Pops, they had no
idea they were about to eat a petrochemical called 2-methylnaphthalene. This
chemical is "a constituent of petroleum, automobile exhaust, ... waste water from
coal gasification, coke and shale oil production..." and other similarly bizarre
sources. So what was 2-methylnaphthalene doing in boxes of Kellogg cereals?
It turns out this chemical was most likely released from the wax paper cereal liners that hold the
cereal. This could have been due to the heating of the wax paper when it's sealed. This
causes the off-gassing of chemicals
which can then be absorbed by the cereal itself.
The effect was so bad that the FDA
received dozens of complaints from consumers who could taste and smell the
chemical. Some said the cereal made them feel ill.
Kellogg, of course, immediately recalled 28 million boxes of its cereals, and the FDA began an investigation. The investigation
essentially consisted of the FDA asking Kellogg what went wrong, and the Kellogg explained
that 2-methylnaphthalene accidentally got into the cereals from the plastic liners, and
the FDA said "Okay" and concluded its investigation.
What's missing from this investigation? The question of how toxic 2-methylnaphthalene really is to
the human body.
You see, nobody knows the answer to that
question. Not Kellogg and not the FDA. 2-methylnaphthalene was one of the 65,000 or so
chemicals grandfathered in as "assumed to be safe" under the Toxic Substances
Control Act of 1976 -- which we now know to be a scientific whitewash. Just because a
chemical is declared to be safe by a regulation doesn't alter the laws of chemistry.
You see, these chemicals have never been tested for human safety. So when consumers are
exposed to them, doctors aren't even sure how to treat them. The FDA has no clue what the
chemical does either. And just to avoid anyone asking the really tough questions, the
FDA's own web page describing this "investigation" doesn't even mention the
The FDA website says, nonchalatantly:
"It appears that the cereals were packaged in cereal boxes with waxed paper liners
that imparted bad taste and odor to the food.
The wax paper liners appear to be the source of the problem."
No mention of 2-methylnaphthalene, see? Wouldn't want people asking too many questions...
The FDA, for its part, did absolutely nothing to fine Kellogg over this mass exposure of the American public to
2-methylnaphthalene. In fact, even though the FDA knows nothing about the safety of
2-methylnaphthalene, it basically declared the whole issue to be a non-issue and let
Kellogg go right back to business packaging its cereals in wax paper liners once again.
But I decided to ask a few questions about 2-methylnaphthalene. For starters, the chemical
doesn't sound safe. The last half of the word is, "napthalene" which sounds a
whole lot like a petroleum
chemical, wouldn't you say?
And of course, it is a petroleum chemical. The Scorecard.org website categorizes it as a
"respiratory toxicant," a term it further defines with this general description:
"Exposure to chemical substances can cause adverse effects on the respiratory
system, which consists of the nasal passages, pharynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs.
Respiratory toxicity can include a variety of acute and chronic pulmonary conditions,
including local irritation, bronchitis, pulmonary edema, emphysema, and cancer."
The Speclab.com website says the "reported effects of methylated naphthalene" (a
sister chemical related to 2-methylnaphthalene) include "skin irritation and skin
Related chemicals are commonly used to manufacture moth balls (moth repellants). Some of
the potential health reactions caused
by exposure to this class of chemicals are described here: http://www.eoearth.org/article/Publ...
Is it safe to eat cereal?
Interestingly, 2-methylnaphthalene isn't the only
petrochemical-derived substance found in Froot Loops. The cereal is also made with artificial
colors which are derived from petrochemicals. Sometimes I wonder if eating a box of Froot Loops has more in
common with swallowing Gulf Coast oil
sludge than eating real food, but that's just my opinion.Natural News, 8.06.2010, Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews
The question on the minds of many today is as follows: Is it safe to eat breakfast
The most accurate answer is both yes and no. In the short term, eating Froot Loops laced
with 2-methylnaphthalene probably isn't going to kill you. Nobody died from consuming this
contaminated cereal. But the bigger question is what happens over a lifetime of
exposure to chemicals.
Is it really safe to eat cereals packaged in wax liners? What about cereals in plastic
bags? What about BPA and other chemicals?
After writing about foods and health
for seven years, I've come to the conclusion that virtually all food packaging materials
have some sort of health risk, from the
aluminum used in soda cans to the plastic used in deli meats. The best material of all is,
of course, glass. Glass is perfectly safe for food contact and it leaches nothing
into your food. Then again, it's breakable and is therefore more expensive while even
posing a safety hazard to children.
My educated guess is that nearly all foods purchased in grocery stores are
contaminated with multiple chemicals. Hence the reason for buying food from farmers
markets and food coops. The basic rule of thumb for food safety is that anything in a
box or a plastic package might pose some risk of chemical contamination, even though
that risk may be miniscule in most products.
This risk extends, by the way, to superfoods
and nutritional supplements packaged in plastic. They aren't immune to the laws of
chemistry, although it could be argued that people consuming superfoods have better health
defenses against chemical contaminants.
Most chemical contamination of foods, by the way, goes entirely unnoticed by consumers.
People are eating chemical contaminants right now, every single day, that are far more
dangerous than the levels of 2-methylnaphthalene found in Froot Loops. Just the sodium
nitrite found in hot dogs is undoubtedly orders of magnitude more dangerous to human
health. And let's not even talk about aspartame, MSG or partially hydrogenated oils...
So to answer the question: Are Kellogg's cereals safe to eat now? Well, they're no more
dangerous than all the other dead processed foods made with petrochemicals and refined
sugar. But I personally wouldn't call those products "safe" in the first place.(
"The two enemies of the people are
criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the
Conastitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first."