We all love it. Kids love it. But did you know that your favorite snack food could contain dangerous chemicals in the packages? Microwave popcorn bags can be coated with Teflon chemicals, which leach out into the food when it is heated. Paper coatings on popcorn bags are “a potentially significant source of fluorochemicals [includes Teflon chemicals]”, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (presentation at the Third International Symposium on Food Packaging, Barcelona, Spain, November 2004).

The company that makes Orville Redenbacher gourmet popcorn has admitted that it uses Teflon chemicals in its food packages, without specifying which ones. It said it had no intention of removing these dangerous chemicals from packages (letter to Ohio Citizen Action, September 19, 2005).

The most notorious of the Teflon chemicals is C8, manufactured by DuPont. A panel of independent scientists advising the U.S. EPA concluded this June that C8 is likely to cause cancer in humans, and U.S. EPA considers C8 a cancer-causing agent for animals at low levels of exposure. Packaging used in popcorn bags and other greasy foods can contain “fluorotelomers” which break down into C8.

DuPont executives hid from the public medical studies that show Teflon chemicals never break down in the environment, build up in human blood and can cause reproductive health problems, developmental defects, and cancer. Teflon chemicals are in the blood of 95% of Americans and one direct pathway into human blood is through ingestion of chemicals that come from food packages treated with Teflon chemicals.

What can you do?

As a customer, you can tell your local grocery store that you want to buy products that are safe for your family – and that Orville Redenbacher microwave popcorn can contain dangerous Teflon chemicals.

Write your local grocery store manager today

It’s best to use your own words. Here are some possible points for your letter:

  • I spend an average of $ ____ a week on groceries at your store.

  • I will not buy Orville Redenbacher popcorn or any other microwave popcorn with Teflon chemicals in the packaging.

  • Please write back and let me know what steps you are taking to ensure your popcorn bags are safe.

Be sure to include your return address.