Lunchables Contains Lead, Sodium, Per Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports is warning against “relatively high levels” of lead, sodium and cadmium in the popular Lunchables lunch kit.

“Consumer Reports’ findings follow a Washington Post investigation last year that showed how powerful food companies get ultra-processed foods such as Lunchables to qualify for the National School Lunch Program through years of extensive lobbying to lower government nutrition standards,” according toThe Washington Post.

The group has launched a petition and is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to remove the kits from the National School Lunch Program.  The petition has more than 15,000 signatures.



“The advocacy group said it tested 12 store-bought Lunchables products, made by Kraft Heinz and compared them to similar lunch and snack kits from other manufacturers,” according toUSA Today. "Although none of the kits exceeded any legal or regulatory limit, the tests uncovered ‘relatively high levels of lead, cadmium and sodium’ in the Lunchables kits, said Brian Ronholm, director of food policy at Consumer Reports.”

The sodium levels in the kits ranged from 460 to 740 milligrams per serving, "nearly a quarter to half of a child’s daily recommended limit for sodium," Consumer Reports' testing found.

“None of the kits exceeded legal or regulatory limits, but five of 12 tested products would expose someone to 50% or more of California's maximum allowable amount of lead, or cadmium heavy metals that can cause developmental and other problems in kids, CR found,” according to CBS News

Additionally, all but one of the kits tested contain phthalates, “a group of chemicals found in plastics that the National Institute of Health states is ‘detrimental to human health’ and can lead to reproductive problems, diabetes, obesity, certain types of cancer and more,” according to People. 

Kraft Heinz issued a statement to media outlets that the company has taken steps to make Lunchables more nutritious, such as adding fresh fruits to certain kits and reducing the overall sodium by as much as 26%.

"Many of our Lunchables products are a good source of protein, offering nutrients through meats and cheeses," according to the statement. "All our foods meet strict safety standards that we happily feed to our own families ... We are proud of Lunchables and stand by the quality and integrity that goes into making them.”

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