House lawmakers are pressing Kellogg’s Co. for more information on the company’s recent 28 million box recall of Corn Pops, Honey Smacks, Fruit Loops, and Apple Jacks cereals.
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Bart Stupak (D-MI), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, sent a letter to Kellogg’s this week asking a series of questions about the company’s handling of the recall, a nationwide incident triggered by complaints of a “waxy-like off-taste and smell” later linked to elevated hydrocarbon levels.
The Washington Post reported earlier this week that Kellogg’s destroyed tainted packaging before announcing the recall. As Food Safety News previously reported, and Kellogg’s confirmed, the source of the taste and smell was likely unusually high levels of the chemical 2-methylnaphthalene.
In their letter to the company, Waxman and Stupack note, “At least one study has shown that 2-methylnaphthalene may cause lung injuries in adults. There are no studies indicating whether children are more susceptible to this chemical.”
Waxman and Stupak are requesting that Kellogg’s officials brief Committee staff on the company’s efforts to prevent hazardous chemicals from being in food products. They are also requesting a number of documents, including:
-All Kellogg’s policies and procedures designed to ensure that its cereal and other food products do not pose a risk to human health and are not exposed to chemicals that may be hazardous to human health or about which the company does not possess adequate information to assess whether the chemicals may be hazardous to human health;
-All documents relating to any assessments of the health risks posed by 2-methylnaphthalene conducted by, commissioned by, or requested by your company, including a copy of the health risk assessment created by your company and any internal and external communications regarding that health risk assessment; and
-All documents relating to your company’s investigation and subsequent recall of Corn Pops, Honey Smacks, Fruit Loops, and Apple Jacks cereals, including any documents relating to the presence of 2-methylnaphthalene or any other chemicals in the cereals or in the cereals’ packaging, any documents describing the cause, scope, and extent of the contamination, and any documents describing actions taken as a result of the company’s investigation.
The letter requests all of the information above–for all units, divisions, affiliates, and subsidiaries of the company–by mid-August.