An Iowa man has settled his lawsuit against the makers of a butter flavoring used in microwave popcorn. John Weimer Jr. and his wife had sued International Flavors & Fragrances Inc., of New York, claiming he suffered lung damage after being exposed to diacetyl, a chemical linked to a respiratory disease commonly called “popcorn packers’ lung.” This occurred while he worked as a manager at the Snappy Popcorn Company plant in Breda, Iowa. The amount of the settlement is confidential.
In his lawsuit, filed in 2005 in U.S. District Court in Sioux City, Iowa, Mr. Weimer alleged that International Flavors & Fragrances knew of the flavoring’s health hazards, but failed to warn users or inform medical, scientific, and government agencies. The National Institute of Health has linked exposure of vapors from butter flavoring to lung damage in popcorn plant workers. Health investigators have determined that the flavorings pose no danger to people who eat microwave popcorn. It appears that Snappy Popcorn, which was not named in the lawsuit, no longer uses the product.
Last fall an American Pop Corn worker in Sioux City settled a similar lawsuit for an undisclosed amount. Another American Pop Corn employee has made similar allegations in a third lawsuit, which is scheduled for trial in November. Both lawsuits named the flavoring’s makers as defendants. But, American Pop Corn was not named in either lawsuit.
Source: Sioux City Journal
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