Skip to content

This Major Mac & Cheese Brand Is Being Sued for Toxins Linked to Asthma and Obesity

Very concerning allegations against a timeless brand so many families love.

There are times we hear about recalls or concerns about a food's ingredients, but we might easily dismiss the news because it doesn't pertain to a product we buy. Unfortunately, that is not the case for a food that many of us might have in our pantries as we speak. The brand that's arguably been the best-known macaroni and cheese for decades is being sued for allegedly using an ingredient that's been shown to harm the health of some children for years, leading to hormonal issues, asthma, and more. Before you prepare for a pantry purge, we've got details.

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese allegedly contains chemicals that have been connected with allergies, asthma, obesity, and hormone interference in children—this, according to what some trade websites for the legal profession are reporting about the matter. It's not entirely clear what led two plaintiffs to bring a case against the Kraft Heinz Company (which makes Kraft Macaroni & Cheese) on April 5 in the Northern District of California. However, immediate research suggests that at least one of the two plaintiffs could possibly have someone in their family who may have been negatively impacted by the chemical that the plaintiffs are calling the Kraft Heinz Company out for. At the moment, the specific circumstances seem unclear and we're careful not to speculate.

kraft macaroni cheese dinner original
Courtesy of Kraft

Costco Foods You Should Always Avoid, According to Nutritionists

So while there are some details that seem unknown, perhaps the important point to note is that some consumer advocates have reportedly been calling on the makers of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese to remove phthalates from the product since 2017. If this is true, then Kraft Heinz is likely aware of the claims regarding their alleged use of phthalates, and this lawsuit contends that they knowingly continued to use the chemicals in Kraft Macaroni & Cheese—despite the dangers about phthalates that some scientists have documented. Namely, a 2015 study found that "immunologic changes, including increased propensity to develop wheeze, allergy and asthma after dietary and inhalation exposure to these chemicals, may be occurring."

It seems more could unfold as this Kraft Macaroni & Cheese lawsuit gets underway. In the meantime, be aware. It may also be worth checking out the 9 Foods You're Crazy Not To Buy at Costco Right Now—including another beloved mac and cheese brand that's currently on sale and lists zero antibiotics or preservatives. Get the food news your family needs every day by signing up for the Eat This, Not That! newsletter.

Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at Eat This, Not That!, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more about Krissy