Testifying Thursday, Michael Wernke, a toxicologist with Blasland, Bouck & Lee Inc. a New York consulting company, said there is not enough scientific proof to conclude that the butter flavoring caused the lung disease in the popcorn plant workers. He
said a study just completed by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
on the effects of diacetyl on rats showed that it did not cause lung disease in the animals.Wernke
said the study released last month showed that diacetyl had no adverse health effects on rats that received the smallest amount of exposure. He
said the two groups of rats that received the next-highest dosage showed some upper-respiratory problems but no evidence of lung disease.