Endocrine Disrupters in our Food?

This message from the Environmental Working Group is too important not to pass along, especially as part of Earth Day, Every Day, because we eat every day.

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Are you eating an endocrine-disrupting chemical?

According to a new EWG analysis, the preservative propyl paraben – linked to disruptions in the body’s hormone signaling and not allowed in food in the European Union – is an ingredient in at least 49 widely available processed foods, including Sara Lee pastries, Weight Watchers cakes, Cafe Valley mini muffins and La Banderita Corn Tortillas.

Yup, that’s the same propyl paraben that cosmetics makers have begun to remove from their products.

Click here to learn more about propyl paraben in EWG’s latest report, and see the full list of foods that contain it.


It’s hard to believe that propyl paraben, an endocrine-disrupting chemical, is allowed in food in the United States and even harder to believe that for decades the Food and Drug Administration has listed its use in food as “Generally Recognized As Safe.”

Propyl paraben acts as a weak synthetic estrogen and can alter the expression of genes. It has also been reported to accelerate the growth of breast cancer cells. Despite this and other mounting evidence that propyl paraben disrupts the endocrine system, the FDA has never taken action to eliminate its use in food or reassess its safety.

Learn more: Check out EWG’s new report on propyl paraben and see why and how you should avoid this endocrine-disrupting preservative.

Thanks for being part of the EWG community and for everything you do to make this work possible.


Johanna Congleton,
Senior Scientist, EWG


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EWG’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. EWG is a non-profit and non-partisan organization. The EWG Action Fund, a separate sister organization of EWG, is a legislative advocacy organization that promotes healthy and sustainable policies.

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