The Kraft Heinz Co. was hit Tuesday with a proposed class action claiming the company has unlawfully failed to inform its customers that its boxed macaroni and cheese product could contain harmful chemicals that could cause adverse health effects if consumed.
New York resident Gabrielle Stuve and Florida resident Jessica Nicodemo say that Chicago-based Kraft has falsely labeled and marketed its popular Macaroni & Cheese by failing to disclose on the packaging that the product either contains or risks containing endocrine-disrupting chemicals called ortho-phthalates.
Kraft’s failure to mention phthalates violates Illinois, Florida and New York consumer protection laws because it wrongly “leads reasonable consumers to believe the product is wholesome and healthy and does not contain dangerous chemicals” they alleged.
Scientific evidence over the years has increasingly linked phthalate exposure to decrease semen in men, endometriosis in women, increase waist circumference and body mass, and ADHD and antisocial behavior if exposed to unborn babies. and dairy has been a major source of phthalate exposure for consumers, according to the suit. That makes the cumulative effects of consuming phthalates concerning, particularly since studies show that about one in every five people get 81% of their calories from ultra-processed foods like powdered macaroni and cheese.
Kraft knew about the risks associated with phthalate exposure and intentionally chose not to disclose that risk on its macaroni and cheese box.
The plaintiffs are asking a court to block Kraft from continuing its allegedly unlawful conduct, require the company to “rectify all damages” its alleged misconduct has caused, and award the proposed classes money to compensate injuries they’ve purportedly suffered.