Peanut butter alarm: dangerous fire retardants discovered in the US

After the scandal of the "pink slime", the pink slime used overseas to increase the volume of minced meat, which is causing a decrease in its consumption in the United States, here is a new food concern for consumers in the stars and stripes market. It also concerns one of the most loved foods in the US, almost indispensable for both breakfast and a snack, especially for children: peanut butter.



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After the "pink slime" scandal, the pink slime used overseas to increase the volume of minced meat, which is allegedly causing a decrease in its consumption in United States, here is the birth of a new one food concern for consumers in the stars and stripes market. It also concerns one of the most loved foods in the USA, almost indispensable both for breakfast and as a snack, especially for children: peanut butter.



Through a new study carried out on some products purchased in supermarkets in Dallas, Texas, the researchers identified the presence in almost half of the foods examined, which in addition to peanut butter included fish, Turkey meat e steak, the presence of traces of a dangerous flame retardant substance usually used forinsulation of the walls of buildings.

Among the authors of the study, Arnold Schecter, of the University of Texas School of Public Health, stresses that such a substance should never be present in any type of food, as for no food, logically, there should be a need for treatment with flame retardants. It would therefore be theyet another contaminant and potentially dangerous for health to infiltrate the production chain of the food industry, thus raising many doubts about the quality of the food that citizens buy every day to feed themselves.

The substance in question, called Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), would do nothing but lengthen the list of suspected chemical components identified in foods, among which there is no shortage, again in the United States, DDT, mercury e dioxin, which concerned in particular foods such as fish and various products commonly sold in grocery stores.

Regarding the HBCD, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) immediately ruled defining this substance as capable of causing in humans damage related to reproduction and to the production of hormones, with consequences that could be very serious especially in the case of children and newborns, also with reference to the period before birth. Traces of this substance have in fact been identified in umbilical cord.


The study does not specify which product brands were considered, but reports that it considered commonly popular products. According to experts, the intake of potentially dangerous chemicals such as HBCD, accidentally ingested through food, would be able to cause a real accumulation of toxins inside the body, with consequences that could affect health. Finally, the EPA has not forgotten to underline that the HBCD is to be considered a fearsome source of environmental pollution, capable of endangering the aquatic organisms, as well as provoking potentials neurological and reproductive damage in man.



Marta Albè

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