Popcorn flavoring lawsuits on rise in Ohio

The number of lawsuits in Hamilton County, Ohio, filed against companies over an allegedly harmful popcorn flavoring has reached 43, one company says.

Givaudan Flavors, which is based out of Cincinnati, said it is fully investigating the effects of the chemical diacetyl, a key ingredient in its microwave popcorn butter flavoring, in response to the growing number of lawsuits filed by its workers, The Cincinnati Enquirer said Friday.

The company said in a court filing its diacetyl investigation has included a specialized task force, a trade group and University of Cincinnati experts. The company added it has created written procedures for dealing with the chemical.

These are hardly the acts of an employer that knowingly, intentionally and deliberately caused harm to its employees, the company said.

Most of the 43 lawsuits filed in recent months come from workers at the company’s plant in Carthage, Ohio. The workers allege inhaling the butter flavoring has left them with irreversible lung damage.

The company ConAgra Foods is also facing similar lawsuits from an unspecified number of its workers at a plant in Marion, Ohio. ConAgra makes the Orville Redenbacher brand of microwave popcorn, the Enquirer said.

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