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Consumer Reports warns that certain Lunchables contain lead and heavy metals.

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Consumer Reports, a nonprofit organization that conducts independent product testing, discovered that three varieties of Lunchables available in stores contain lead and other heavy metals. Despite these findings, Kraft Heinz, the company behind Lunchables, dismissed the results as “misleading.” Upon examination of 12 store-bought versions of Lunchables and similar snacks from various brands, Consumer Reports detected lead or cadmium, or both, toxic heavy metals, in all of the products. The organization also raised concerns about the high salt content present in these lunch kits, exceeding the recommended daily limit for children.

The snacks’ popularity and convenience cannot overshadow the health risks associated with highly processed foods, according to Amy Keating, a registered dietitian interviewed by Consumer Reports. The chemist leading the testing, Eric Boring, Ph.D., echoed this sentiment by emphasizing that Lunchables should not be considered a healthy choice for a school lunch. In addition to the heavy metals found in these products, Consumer Reports also discovered phthalates, a harmful chemical in plastic, in 11 out of the 12 kits tested. While Kraft Heinz emphasized that all Lunchables products adhere to strict safety standards set by government agencies, Consumer Reports pushed for the removal of Lunchables from the National School Lunch Program due to their high sodium content.

Despite Kraft Heinz’s assurance that the tested Lunchables products met acceptable limits for lead, Consumer Reports tracked the amount of lead in these items in relation to California’s maximum allowable dose level, with findings suggesting elevated heavy metal content. The organization’s petition to remove Lunchables from school lunches underscores the health hazards associated with these processed foods, particularly among young children. As discussions continue regarding the safety and nutritional value of these lunch kits, it is evident that a more critical evaluation of popular convenience foods like Lunchables is necessary to prioritize the well-being of consumers, especially when it comes to children’s diets in school settings.

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