Dangerous chemicalsAs many of us are getting ready for our big Thanksgiving holiday meals, dangerous chemicals may be lurking in our favorite Thanksgiving dishes.

Studies have shown toxic chemicals like phthalates can migrate out of food packaging and get into the food we eat, chemicals that have been linked to birth defects in baby boys and asthma in children.

A recent report by a federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) blue ribbon panel identified food to be a significant source of exposure to phthalates.  Another study published this past July identified 175 toxic chemicals commonly used in food contact materials.

With great power comes great responsibility.

Kroger is the largest grocery chain in the United States and one of the largest worldwide, with over 3,500 stores and sales of over $98 billion, yet the company doesn’t have a comprehensive public chemicals policy to screen out and eliminate toxic chemicals in their products.

They have the power and a fundamental moral responsibility to ensure products on their store shelves, especially packaged foods, are safe and free of dangerous chemicals.

It’s not just toxic chemicals in food packaging.  Many consumer products contain chemicals that have been linked with chronic diseases and health conditions, including cancer, reduced fertility, learning and developmental disabilities, behavioral problems, obesity, and diabetes.  Chemicals that are getting into our bodies.

Photo Credit: Cafemama, Flickr

Photo Credit: Cafemama, Flickr

A recent study found some Kroger children’s Halloween trick or treat bags laced with high levels of bromine, indicating the presence of toxic flame retardants.  Kroger has reported selling over 150 products with hazardous chemicals that are harmful to children to the state of Washington.  For example they reported selling tableware with formaldehyde, parabens in skin care products, and phthalates in children’s clothing.

Other big retailers like Walmart and Target have developed comprehensive policies to screen out over 1,000 chemicals in products on their store shelves that they are beginning to implement.  If they can do it, so can Kroger!

To their credit, Kroger has taken some initial steps to eliminate certain chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA) in canned food, which is a promising first step we hope they can build on. We think Kroger should be a leader on this issue as the biggest grocery retailer in the country.  Don’t you?

TAKE ACTION: Tell Kroger: don’t be a turkey this Thanksgiving – we don’t want to be stuffed with toxic chemicals.

Here’s three easy ways you can today:

  • Leave a comment on Kroger’s Facebook wall here encouraging them to “Mind the Store” and adopt a comprehensive chemicals policy: https://www.facebook.com/Kroger
  • On Twitter? Send them a Tweet @Kroger and be sure to tag #MindTheStore. Here’s a sample message you can send:

.@Kroger – don’t be a turkey this Thanksgiving, I don’t want to be stuffed with toxic chemicals. Will you #MindtheStore? #Kroger

Together we can send a message this holiday season that toxic chemicals have no place in products for our loved ones.

In the meantime, check out these great tips on avoiding toxic chemicals in food packaging.

Happy Thanksgiving!