Please Hold the Propyl Paraben Sara Lee


Please hold the Propyl Paraben Sara Lee

Who loves eating a pastry full of an endocrine-disrupting chemical?

According to a newly released report, the preservative propyl paraben that has been linked to disruptions in the body’s hormone signaling and which is banned Europe is found in over 49 very popular processed foods, including Sara Lee pastries, Weight Watchers cakes, Cafe Valley muffins and La Banderita corn tortillas. This ingredient is being removed even from cosmetics due to it’s negative effects and yet it is allowed in our food!

According to an EWG Report, Foods that contain Propyl Paraben:

  • Amport Foods Chocolate & Nut Trail Mix
  • Archer Farms Gourmet Dessert Cookies
  • Arizona Snack Company Canyon Runner II Trail
  • Arizona Snack Company Sweet Energy Trail
  • Cafe Valley Apple Spice Mini Muffins Apple Spice
  • Cafe Valley Banana Nut Mini Muffins
  • Cafe Valley Blueberry Mini Muffins
  • Cafe Valley Cake Pumpkin Cream Cheese
  • Cafe Valley Chocolate Chips Mini Muffins
  • Cafe Valley Corn Mini Muffins
  • Cafe Valley Lemon Poppyseed Mini Muffins
  • Cafe Valley Orange Cranberry Mini Muffins
  • Cafe Valley Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
  • Creative Occasions Old Fashioned Carrot Cream Cheese Cake
  • Elizabeth’s Naturals Psychedelic Sunday Mix
  • Emerald Breakfast On The Go Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Nut & Granola Mix
  • Energy Club Fancy Mojo Mix
  • Energy Club Nuts N Chocolate Blend
  • Entenmann’s Coconut Crunch Donuts
  • Essential Everyday Classic Trail Mix
  • Island Snacks Fancy Chocolate Mix
  • La Banderita White Corn Tortillas
  • La Banderita Yellow Corn Tortillas
  • Little Debbie Pecan Spinwheels
  • Newton’s Naturals Get The Munchies Trail Mix
  • Nuevo Leon Tortillas
  • Oh Yeah! Candies Chocolate Caramel
  • Ole Mexican Foods Corn Tortillas
  • Patissa Pumpkin Pie Cream Puffs
  • Premium Orchard Rainbow Trail Mix
  • Private Selection Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
  • Quality Club Deluxe Moxxi Mix
  • Roundy’s Cranberry Trail Mix
  • Roundy’s Pak O Snax
  • Sara Lee Cinnamon Rolls
  • Sara Lee Honey Glazed Buns
  • Setton Farms Hiker’s Trail Mix
  • Superior Chocolate Nut Trail Mix
  • Superior Mini Chocolate Eclairs
  • Sweet P’s Bake Shop Black & White Cookies
  • Tropical Corn Tortillas, Traditional Style
  • Turano Brat & Sausage Rolls
  • Weight Watchers Carrot Crème Cake
  • Weight Watchers Chocolate Crème Cake
  • Weight Watchers Golden Sponge Cake
  • Weight Watchers Lemon Creme Cake
  • Weight Watchers Red Velvet Creme Cake
  • Weis Cross’n Country
  • Weis Milk Chocolate Candies

Propyl paraben acts as a weak synthetic estrogen and can alter the expression of genes. It has also been reported to accelerate the growth of breast cancer cells. Despite this and other mounting evidence that propyl paraben disrupts the endocrine system, the FDA has never taken action to eliminate its use in food or reassess its safety. (Johanna Congleton, Senior Scientist, EWG)

Recommended Reading: The Crazy Makers: How the Food Industry Is Destroying Our Brains and Harming Our Children

Science based evidence

The Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health revealed that propyl paraben decreased sperm counts in young rats at and below the concentrations which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers safe for human consumption in food (Oishi 2002; 21CFR184.1670).

It acts as a synthetic estrogenic compound and can alter hormone signaling and gene expression (Routledge 1998; Terasaka 2006; Vo 2011; Wróbel 2014). A Harvard School of Public Health study expressed concern that exposure to propyl paraben could be associated with diminished fertility (Smith 2013).

So why are Americans still continuously exposed to this chemical? In 2010, chemist Antonia Calafat while working at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 92.7 percent of Americans tested had propyl paraben in their urine (Calafat 2010).

The fact that some of the items listed are being sold in the health food section of our grocery store ought to have us all seething mad.  You can do something about this by going to EWG’s site and signing a petition to have this ingredient banned from our food. Let’s keep out the propyl paraben Sara Lee, Cafe Valley, Little Debbie, Weight Watchers et al.

Take Action

Consumers can’t wait on the FDA – endocrine disruptors shouldn’t be in the food we eat.Click here to add your name to EWG’s petition. Let’s demand food companies not put this in our food.


Calafat AM, Ye X, Wong LY, Bishop AM, Needham LL. 2010. Urinary concentrations of four parabens in the U.S. population: NHANES 2005-2006. Environ Health Perspect. 118(5):679-85.

Oishi S. Effects of propyl paraben on the male reproductive system. Food Chem Toxicol. 2002 Dec;40(12):1807-13.

Terasaka S, Inoue A, Tanji M, Kiyama R. 2006. Expression profiling of estrogen-responsive genes in breast cancer cells treated with alkylphenols, chlorinated phenols, parabens, or bis- and benzoylphenols for evaluation of estrogenic activity. Toxicol Lett. 163(2):130-41. Epub 2005 Nov 8.

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Sandy J Duncan
Sandy Duncan is completing her Doctorate in Integrative Medicine, a health and wellness coach, Certified Neurofeedback specialist and author of Read honest reviews on current health and wellness products as well as register for FREE giveaways.