A New Processed Food Poison

If you needed any more reasons to avoid processed foods entirely, here's a new concern based on a complaint by two of America's largest labor unions and a group of 40 doctors about the flavoring chemical diacetyl, found in products ranging from dog food to microwave popcorn.

The United Food and Commercial Workers and the Teamsters have requested an emergency order from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for government protection due to a 2001 lawsuit by Missouri factory workers suffering from serious lung disease after inhaling diacetyl. The emergency order could set exposure standards that force companies to improve their ventilation systems and workers to wear respirators.

The catch: OSHA probably knew about the disease, bronchiolitis obliterans often called popcorn workers lung that destroys the bronchioles, as the agency had sent brochures to popcorn makers about making those same improvements four years ago.

Doctors say consumers aren't at risk because those concentrations of flavoring chemicals are far lower in those finished food products than in factories. But who really knows?

With news reports like these coming to the forefront, I'm still very surprised so many people justify eating the very same processed foods that kill the lungs of factory workers. I suspect it has to do with the time-challenged lifestyles many lead that cause people to make expedient and poor food choices. One of the key principles to achieving optimal health is to rebalance your food intake so that 90 percent of your diet comes from raw foods.

Washington Post July 26, 2006

Sacramento Bee July 26, 2006 Registration Required

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