Are there harmful chemicals in your mac and cheese?

Dr. Jennifer Ashton appears live on "GMA" to discuss what parents should know about a new study that claims a chemical in processed cheese powder could be linked to birth defects.
2:26 | 07/14/17

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Transcript for Are there harmful chemicals in your mac and cheese?
We'll turn to our "Gma" cover story based on an article about Mac and cheese trending in "The New York Times," a new study found trace amounts of a chemical in some processed cheese powders that could possibly be linked to an increased risk of birth defects and learning behavior problems. Our senior medical contributor Dr. Insurgent jihadists Dr. Jen, what do you make of this Mac and cheese controversy because it is scary when you read it? Of course, and as a parent it definitely got my attention. At a nutritionist I have to say it's very difficult to attribute one food exposure to a particular health outcome in general. And, look, as a doctor for anything to be potentially toxic, you really need three thing, you need a high potency or a high dose or you need a high frequency of exposure so when you look at all of those things, you know, that's what people have to look at from a rational scientific perspective. And what's in question is something called a thalate. Talk about how that impacts or could possibly impact a negative health problem. We've been hearing about it for some time. Something we refer to as a potential endocrine disrupter. In route row exposure and affecting sex development, there's a lot we don't know about it. We definitely need more research but to be clear, this is not just about thalates, the environmental protection agency identified over 10,000 such chemicals. They've only screened a fraction of that. So it really speaks to the scope of the problem. How are these compounds found in Mac and cleeheese? It's widespread and really not just in Mac and cheese but if all foods including seafood, grain, spices, poultry, dairy, treatment. I mean the list goes on and on and the news in something like Mac and cheese this compound is detected in extremely low levels. We reached out to craft yesterday. They are the maker of obviously one of the largest brands of Mac and cheese but, again, this is widespread to every brand. They were very clear that the amount of phthalates in their product which they don't add is well below 1,000 times what is recommended or can be safely there so they stand behind the safety of their product. Personally I would be more worried about getting in a car accident at this point. That's definitely good perspective. Have your Mac and cheese. Thank you very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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