Consumer Reports says some General Mills products contain dangerous levels of chemicals, urges company to cut back

A petition from Consumer Reports is urging Minneapolis-based company General Mills to reduce the amount of plasticizers in their products.

Brian Ronholm, Director of Food Policy at Consumer Reports, issued a letter on Wednesday asking General Mills to reduce plasticizers after a test found high levels of the chemical in several General Mills products.

Annie’s Organic Cheesy Ravioli was singled out as the highest phthalate-containing product in the test, with 53,579 nanograms per serving, according to the letter.

Consumer Reports also found high levels of plasticizers in the French Vanilla variety of Yoplait Original Low-Fat Yogurt, original Cheerios, canned Green Giant Cream Style Sweet Corn and Progresso Vegetable Classics Vegetable Soup.

“Food safety is our top priority at General Mills,” said Mollie Wulff, a spokesperson for General Mills. “All our products adhere to regulatory requirements, and we review our ingredients, packaging and suppliers on a regular basis to ensure quality.”

Plasticizers may be particularly harmful to women as they can interfere with the production and regulation of estrogen and other hormones, which can lead to birth defects, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, neurodevelopment disorders, and infertility.

Ronholm added that current acceptable levels of plasticizer intake in foods do not reflect the most up-to-date scientific studies on the chemical, adding that suggested intake levels “are not adequately protective of public health.” Plasticizers bioaccumulate, Ronholm said, meaning even small exposures at a steady rate can be harmful to human health.

Plasticizers are present in most food products as they can enter the food supply in numerous ways, but typically test for much lower levels of the chemical, Ronholm said.

A petition from Consumer Reports is gathering signatures urging Annie’s and General Mills to reduce plasticizers in their products.