Kellogg cereal recallA petrochemical was the cause of the foul smell that sickened a handful of people and led to the massive recall last month of some 28 million boxes of Kellogg cereal -- including Froot Loops and Corn Pops, the non-profit Environmental Working Group announced.

The group said little is known about the health risks of the chemical, Methylnaphthalene.

"What little we do know about the history of this chemical is checkered at best," said Environmental Working Group senior scientist Dave Andrews, in a statement. "Millions of pounds are produced every year, and this chemical is turning up in the packaging for popular cereals marketed toward children. I think it's important for federal public health agencies like the EPA and FDA to know everything there is to know about the possible risks this fossil fuel could pose to people's health."

Environmental Working Group said it learned of the source of the odor from Kellogg.

In a statement sent to Consumer Ally, Kellogg said the presence of the chemical did not pose a serious health risk.
"Kellogg Company has concluded its investigation into the off smells present in the package liners in some of its cereals. Working with external experts in medicine, toxicology, public health, chemistry and food safety, we identified elevated levels of hydrocarbons, including methyl naphthalene, normally found in the paraffin wax and film in the liners. This specific wax is commonly used as a protective coating for foods including cheese, raw fruits and vegetables, and is approved by the FDA. We have verified that the elevated levels of hydrocarbons are not present at harmful levels. We are working with our supplier to ensure that this situation does not happen again."
With food, the recall process is driven by the companies themselves since the FDA does not have mandatory recall authority. That often leads to limited release of information to the public and, unlike the Consumer Product Safety Commission's recalls, a great deal of inconsistency about what information is provided.

A bill to toughen food safety laws has been stuck in Congress for months.

The following cereals were subject to the recall:

Apple Jacks:
  • UPC 3800039136 1: 17-ounce package with Better if Used Before Dates between April 10, 2011 and June 22, 2011
  • UPC 3800039132 3: 8.7-ounce packages with Better if Used Before Dates between June 3, 2011 and June 22, 2011
Corn Pops:
  • UPC 3800039109 5: 12.5-ounce packages with Better if Used Before Dates between March 26, 2011 and June 22, 2011
  • UPC 3800039111 8: 17.2-ounce packages with Better if Used Before Dates between March 26, 2011 and June 22, 2011
  • UPC 3800039116 3: 9.2-ounce packages with Better if Used Before Dates between April 5, 2011 and June 22, 2011
Froot Loops:
  • UPC 3800039118 7: 12.2-ounce packages with Better if Used Before Dates between March 26, 2011 and June 22, 2011
  • UPC 3800039120 0: 17-ounce packages with Better if Used Before Dates between March 26, 2011 and June 22, 2011
  • UPC 3800039125 5: 8.7-ounce packages with Better if Used Before Dates between March 26, 2011 and June 22, 2011
Honey Smacks:
  • UPC 3800039103 3: 15.3-ounce packages with Better if Used Before Dates between March 26, 2011 and June 22, 2011






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