ConAgra, the world’s largest popcorn supplier, has announced on Tuesday September 4th that it will stop using diacetyl–a synthetic butter flavoring.
Diacetyl has been linked to lung disease in workers, who developed severe symptoms (extreme wheezing, for example) after inhaling the vapors of this synthetic butter while on the job. The disease is known as bronchiolitis obliterans and can cause death or leave patients with no hope but lung transplants.
In dropping diacetyl, ConAgra—which produces the popular Act II and Orville Redenbacher brands of popcorn–is following in the footsteps of Pop Weaver, another large popcorn supplier, which pulled diacetyl one month previously.
For more information on diacetyl and its effects, see the following links: