Petition statement to be delivered to Bernardo Hees, CEO, The Kraft Heinz Company

Kraft: Get rid of any sources of toxic, hormone-disrupting chemicals in food!

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Kraft: Get rid of any sources of toxic, hormone-disrupting chemicals in food!

To be delivered to Bernardo Hees, CEO, The Kraft Heinz Company

Petition Statement

Kraft cheese is America’s biggest cheese brand by far. But most people don’t know that some of Kraft’s cheese products may contain toxic chemicals called phthalates. In fact, phthalates were in eight of the nine items of individual Kraft cheese products we tested, including its iconic Macaroni and Cheese. Phthalates are also found in other products, and many experts believe that even small exposures may contribute to elevated risk.

My son was born with a genital birth defect. No one can say for sure what caused it or that the foods I ate while pregnant played any part, but this same birth defect has been linked to phthalates. Join me to send a message to Kraft: Help America’s families protect their kids. Eliminate sources of phthalates in your cheese!
There are currently 6,382 signatures. NEW goal - We need 7,500 signatures!

Petition Background

My name is Laura, and I'm a mom from Maine.

Throughout my pregnancy, I was careful to eat a very healthy diet, get regular exercise, and protect my body and my baby from dangers like alcohol, cigarette smoke, and chemical cleaning products.

But I had no idea that there were other dangers hiding in the foods we eat.

After a completely normal pregnancy, my son was born with a birth defect called hypospadias with chordee – one of the most common among babies in the United States. At just eight months old, my son needed a three-and-a-half-hour surgery to dismantle and reconstruct his penis. I remember singing to him as an anesthesia mask was placed on his face, trying to help him be less afraid. It was a wrenching experience for all of us.

A growing body of scientific evidence shows that chemicals called phthalates harm the growing brain and reproductive health, especially during pregnancy and early childhood. Phthalates interfere with testosterone and thyroid hormones, both critical to healthy development, and may lead to birth defects like the one my son had -- as well as learning disabilities.

My son is happy and healthy now, but it was a difficult experience for him and my family.

I’ll never know for sure what caused my son’s birth defect. I did not knowingly eat Kraft products during my pregnancy. Still, if I had known the possible harm from phthalates, I would have done my best to avoid phthalates while I was pregnant. But avoiding them is hard. Phthalates are used to soften plastics, and you can find them nearly everywhere: in shower curtains, furniture, cosmetics, and even the foods we eat. They get into our food -- and our bodies! -- by escaping during food processing from plastic tubing, conveyor belts, the plastic gloves food workers wear, even food packaging.

Food is the number one source of exposure to these toxic chemicals in utero and during early childhood. And phthalate levels are particularly high in dairy products like cheese and ice cream.

We’re calling on Kraft to be a leader in protecting kids and families by eliminating ANY and ALL phthalates in their food processing and products. Kraft is the biggest producer of cheese in the country -- if it changes, others will follow. Plus, Kraft recently eliminated artificial food dyes from Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, so we know it listens to consumers’ voices -- now it’s time to finish the job and protect our kids!

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