Statement from The Popcorn Board Regarding Microwave Popcorn

1. Headlines alleging the PFC coating in microwave popcorn bags increases cancer risk

Popcorn does not contain any carcinogens or GMOs. Microwave popcorn does not cause cancer. Microwave popcorn is FDA approved for consumption and likewise, microwave popcorn bags are considered safe and approved by the FDA. PFOAs are not intentionally used in or added to microwave popcorn bags; rather, if found they are incidental. PFOAs are found in almost every place in our world today including forests and polar bears. PFOA’s have been delisted by the FDA and have been removed from food packaging since January 2016.

2. Headlines alleging diacetyl used as a flavoring in microwave popcorn could lead to lung conditions, like “popcorn lung”

"Popcorn lung” is an inaccurate and misleading name for the medical condition bronchiolitis obliterans. It is an inflammatory condition that affects the lung's tiniest airways, the bronchioles, that is not caused by eating popcorn. The term was coined over a decade ago when workers in a microwave popcorn factory were sickened by breathing in diacetyl—a butter-like flavoring formerly used in foods, including some popcorn, caramel and dairy products. Shortly thereafter in 2007—more than 10 years ago—popcorn manufacturers removed diacetyl from their products. Microwave popcorn does not contain diacetyl today although outdated stories continue to circulate, misinforming and confusing the consumer.

3. The use of trans-fats in some microwave popcorn brands

When health concerns arose from the use of trans fats, the popcorn industry—like many other industries—immediately began finding new alternatives. Today’s microwave popcorn is largely produced without trans fats. Consumers should always read product labels to understand the contents of their favorite products.

4. We do not know what ingredients are used in today's butter flavoring as all manufacturers use different ingredients in their products. You will need to contact them for that information.

And although you did not ask, I am including information about the use of brown paper bags in the microwave since we often see this as an alternative. We do NOT recommend this.

5. Brown Paper Bag Option

Brown paper bags are not made for use in the microwave. While they are safe for their intended non-heated use, they contain more volatiles than microwave bags. Heating releases these volatiles. There has been extensive research and resources that have gone into the development of microwave popcorn bags to ensure the product is safe for consumption, and they create a delicious end result for the consumer.

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