Popcorn Lung Yet Another Example of Big Business Greed
Posted by infinitygoods on September 7, 2007
With all the news about diacetyl causing swift and severe lung problems which can result in death, I see yet another example where big business turns a blind eye to medical and scientific research in favor of greed, wanting ever more money even at the expense of human life.
It turns out the manufacturers of diacetyl and other food flavors have had workers becoming sick and dying since 1985. Many of these workers need lung transplants. The factory owners were too greedy to even provide their employees with masks to prevent breathing in the vapors. Did they stop producing the butter flavor to protect their employees or consumers? Of course not. It would mean less profit if they had to switch to a more expenssive real ingredient rather than their man-made garbage unfit even for rats, who also die when they smell diacetyl for as few as 4-6 hours.
A few popcorn manufacturers are now deciding to stop using diacetyl because of the public outcry. Now that they’ve been caught red-handed they are worried about what negative consumer opinions will do to their profits.
And our government agencies who should be protecting both consumers and workers have done nothing in the last 22 years either. Government is nothing but a big money-generating business too afraid to lose funds from powerful special-interest groups.
Even when Cecile Rose, M.D., MPH, a global leader in lung, allergy and immune diseases with the National Jewish Research Center and associate professor of pulmonary medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, in July alerted the Food and Drug Administration, the CCD, the EPA, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of a case of a consumer, not a worker, becoming sick with “popcorn lung” they did nothing. They did not bother to investigate. They did not even bother to ask her for more information.
The Pump Handle, a public health blog, made the issue public by publishing Dr. Rose’s letter. It is run by David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, who is associate chairman of the Department of Environmental and Occupational health at George Washington University.
Dr. Michaels told WebMD that “the key issue is, are there susceptible populations — children, asthmatics, people with existing lung disease — who are more at risk?… Dr. Rose is a leading lung expert who knows that diacetyl vapors cause lung disease. But will the average pediatrician who sees a child with what seems to be worsening asthma be looking for microwave popcorn exposure?”
The whole affair is sickening and revolting. It also confirms my belief that as we find more and more food products manipulated with man-made chemicals but lacking in nutritional content, we need to become all the more vigilant about how we choose the food we put on our family’s table. We must look for foods which are all natural, organic or even Kosher even if we are not Jewish. Our well-being and our very lives are going to depend on it.
Please see the following interesting documents:
ConAgra letter dated 11/29/2004 to the EPA regarding the need for study of Microwave Popcorn Emissions Released During Cooking and Bag Opening.
Cecile Rose, M.D., MPH, letter dated 07/19/2007 to the FDA regarding the case of a consumer with symptoms of “Popcorn Lung.”