Soft Kill Profitable for Chemical and Drug Companies — 1 Comment

  1. Kellogg’s Co. recently recalled 28 million box recall of Corn Pops, Honey Smacks, Fruit Loops, and Apple Jacks cereals because of complaints of a “waxy-like off-taste and smell” later linked to elevated hydrocarbon levels. Kellogg’s confirmed the source of the taste and smell was likely unusually high levels of the chemical 2-methylnaphthalene.

    A natural component of crude oil, 2-methylnaphthalene is structurally related to naphthalene, an ingredient in mothballs and toilet-deodorant blocks that is considered a possible human carcinogen by the EPA.

    The Washington Post reports, “The Food and Drug Administration has no scientific data on its impact on human health. The Environmental Protection Agency also lacks basic health and safety data for 2-methylnaphthalene — even though the EPA has been seeking that information from the chemical industry for 16 years.”

    Reassuring news coming from the smart folks that are tasked with protecting us.

    The cereal recall hints at a larger issue: huge gaps in the government’s knowledge about chemicals in everyday consumer products, from furniture to clothing to children’s products. Under current laws, the government has little or no information about the health risks posed by most of the 80,000 chemicals on the U.S. market today.

    The information gap is hardly new. When the Toxic Substances Control Act was passed in 1976, it exempted from regulation about 62,000 chemicals that were in commercial use — including 2-methylnaphthalene. In addition, chemicals developed since the law’s passage do not have to be tested for safety.