The Environmental Working Group (EWG) and others are petitioning to discontinue the use of propyl paraben in select foods.
“When it comes to propyl paraben specifically,” writes Food Safety News, “EWG says that the preservative used in cosmetics and foods to protect against microbial growth disrupts the endocrine system and should therefore be removed from food.”
Propyl paraben has been identified in more than 50 brand name American snacks. These can include foods such as: Sara Lee cinnamon rolls, La Banderita corn tortillas, Cafe Valley muffins and certain Weight Watchers snacks,”
What they found was the presence of propyl paraben in nearly 50 American snack foods, including Sara Lee cinnamon rolls, Weight Watchers cakes, Cafe Valley muffins, and La Banderita corn tortillas.
“A recent study by Harvard School of Public Health suggested that exposure to the chemical might be associated with diminished fertility, while another study found that it led to decreased sperm counts in rats,” says the site Tree Hugger.
Parabens have also been noted to mimic estrogen, and can potentially cause excess weight gain and changes to an individual’s metabolism.
The European Commission is said to have labeled propyl paraben as a category I substance, having been shown to disrupt the endocrine system of living organisms.
“Propyl paraben is starting to disappear from some cosmetics, so it is a wonder that it is still allowed in food,” the EWG says.