The ‘pop’ that can cause cancer

Kelsey Avers

Popcorn can now be added to the ever-growing list of harmful eats. Microwaveable buttered popcorn can be extremely risky to ones health due to a chemical called diacetyl. The toxic substance has been detected in Act II and Orville Redenbacher products.

Continuous exposure to the fumes produced from the butter flavor in microwaveable popcorn may cause a rare and potentially fatal form of lung cancer, according to a warning letter to federal regulators from a doctor at a leading lung research hospital in Denver, CO.

“I really don’t mind because I like buttered popcorn, but I don’t eat that much of it”, said Sarah Helpind, 18, business. “I guess by the time I am about to die of old age I might have consumed the amount needed to give me the cancer, but it’ll be my time to go anyway, right?”

The cancer, called Popcorn Lung, has been the subject of many lawsuits by hundreds of employees at popcorn factories where they have been exposed to the chemical.

As of Sept. 5 there has been one fully detected case of “Popcorn Lung” outside the popcorn distribution factories. The cancer has been studied to affect the lungs only after frequent and constant exposure to the fumes that the butter flavoring produces.

The man diagnosed with Popcorn Lung claims he consumed two bags of popcorn daily while at work for a few years.

ConAgra Foods, the company under which Act II and Orville Redenbaucher popcorn is manufactured, connects customers directly to a recording stating that they do in fact use the chemical in their products, but in order to eliminate the perception of any concern regarding the chemical, they will be eliminating the use of it in all of their microwaveable products. They also say that the chemical is in fact “safe and approved by the FDA and other health authorities”.

“The [chemical] seems just as harmful as that of toxins that people who smoke can get,” said James Hopkins, 20, psychology. “If you are going to stop eating the popcorn because of this, why not stop smoking as well?”

In regards to whether or not there would be a recall of any products containing the harmful chemical, ConAgra media relation officials did not respond to phone calls.

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