The nation’s four biggest makers of microwave popcorn have agreed to remove a flavoring chemical, diacetyl, from nearly all their products.

ConAgra Foods Inc. of Omaha; General Mills Inc. of Golden Valley, Minn.; and the American Pop Corn Co. of Sioux City, Iowa, all promised to change their microwave popcorn recipes. Those three companies sell Orville Redenbacher, Act II, Pop Secret, and Jolly Time microwave popcorn.

Diacetyl has been linked to cases of bronchiolitis obliterans, a rare life-threatening disease often called popcorn lung. The FDA has approved its use as a flavor ingredient. Read the rest of this entry »