Foods Banned by Other Countries
There are chemicals and additives we in the US allow in our snacks, drinks, and packaged foods that other countries consider so unhealthy they’ve banned them.
Fake coloring that gives those eerie bright hues to boxed mac and cheese, breakfast cereal, candy, and soft drinks has been linked to behavioral changes in children, allergies, migraines, and possibly cancer. Those dyes are banned in several countries including the United Kingdom, but not in the United States.
In 2013, two mothers petitioned Kraft to use safer, natural coloring in their mac and cheese products, as the company does in other countries where the dyes are illegal. Kraft said no.
Or how about brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, that’s added to citrus-flavored soda (like Mountain Dew) and sports drinks to make the artificial colors stick to the liquid. BVO contains bromine, which is used as a flameretardant and has been linked to neurological problems and interference with thyroid hormones.
BVO has been banned in over 100 countries, yet it is regularly used in products here. PepsiCo finally announced it would no longer use the additive in Gatorade, after consumers complained, yet they still use it in Mountain Dew.
Artificially colored food made with Yellow 5, Red 40, and six others dyes are used to enhance products from Froot Loops to Nutri-Grain cereal bars. They are called the “rainbow of risk” by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. They are banned in Norway, Finland, France, Austria, and the UK.
Arsenic in chicken feed cuts down on parasites, makes chickens grow faster, and gives their meat more color. And as you might have guessed it also gives the chicken we eat higher levels of arsenic, known to cause lung, bladder, and skin cancers. Arsenic-laced chicken feed is banned in the European Union.
Breads with potassium bromate, used in bromated flour to make bread products rise higher and faster. Found in rolls, bagel chips, bread crumbs, and flatbreads potassium bromate has been linked to thyroid and kidney cancers in lab animals. It has been banned in Europe, Canada, and China. California declared it a carcinogen in 1991.
Frozen dinners have azodicarbonamide which is used to bleach and stabilize flour and also to make foamed plastic products like yoga mats and sneakers. Found in frozen TV dinners, packaged baked goods, and some breads, it has been associated with inducing asthma. It is banned in Australia, the UK, and most European countries.
BHA and BHT preservatives are added to cereal, nut mixes, gum, butter, meat, and dehydrated potatoes to keep them from turning rancid. The debate over their safety has been going on in the US for years. Meanwhile, they’re banned in the UK, Japan, and many European countries.
6. Milk with rBGH and rBST, also known as bovine growth hormones, are given to cows and found in milk and other dairy products (unless the label specifically says otherwise). They have been linked to cancer and infertility and are banned in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the European Union.
Chips with Olestra or Olean, a fat substitute used in fat-free chips, like Ruffles, can produce cramps and leaky bowels and are banned in the UK and Canada.