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6 American Meat Products That Are Banned Abroad (Slideshow)

6 American Meat Products That Are Banned Abroad (Slideshow)

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Much of the U.S. beef cattle are fed synthetic hormones in the feedlots prior to slaughter. The chemicals are essentially growth hormones meant to increase the net amount of meat produced from each cow, but numerous concerns have been raised (by the National Cancer Association, no less) about the high incidence of hormonal cancers produced as well. As early as 1989, the EEC (European Economic Community) put its collective foot down and said that’s not okay, and banned the treated beef from being sold in any E.U. country, though some of those restrictions have since relaxed depending on the hormones used. There have also been other issues like mad cow disease, leading to China also banning American beef products. Ironically, the U.S. has banned much of the Europe’s beef products, too, because of mad cow disease.

American Beef

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Much of the U.S. has banned much of the Europe’s beef products, too, because of mad cow disease.

Pigs, Cows, and Turkeys Fed Ractopamine

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Another growth hormone commonly used in the U.S. to bulk up the meat product yield is ractopamine, which has been banned in the European Union, China, and Taiwan. In the U.S., it’s commonly used in the feedstock for pigs, cows, and turkeys (there’s a reason some of them are so big after all). The European Food Safety Authority and the Center for Food Safety have slammed the U.S. for its continued use of ractopamine saying it can cause anxiety and an increased heart rate in humans. As noted by the FDA, it can also increases injury and lameness in pigs. The U.S.’s position is that the use of ractopamine favors agricultural trade over the health risks.

Farmed Salmon

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As overfishing of our oceans is a serious environmental concern, the U.S. errs in favor of farmed salmon for mass consumption. However, like many other American meat products, farmed salmon is raised on a concoction of grain, antibiotics, and other drugs rendering it not at all as wholesome as we may think it is. Factory-farmed fish are intensively confined and are fed a steady diet of antibiotics and other drugs to combat the unnatural and squalid conditions of the pens. This often results in gray-colored flesh, which is then counteracted by dosing the fish with synthetic astaxanthin made from petrochemicals — which is banned in Australia and New Zealand.

Arsenic-laced Chicken Meat

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Chicken Washed With Chlorine

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Generally speaking, American-raised chickens are bred in incredibly cramped conditions. Thousands of birds are literally stuffed inside massive warehouses and spend their lives standing, sleeping, and eating in their own waste. It makes sense then, that the meat picks up a lot of pathogens. After the chickens are slaughtered, they’re washed in chlorine to rid them of some of nastiest germs. The European Union is not having it. Convinced the process is dangerous to humans because the chlorine likely lingers in the meat, they’ve banned these chemical baths across the E.U. They’ve also banned the chlorine-bathed chicken from the U.S., to boot.

Milk From Cows Given rBGH

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Some of the mercurial concoctions of growth hormones that are routinely pumped into U.S. meat products are not just constrained to the meat alone. rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone), for example, is commonly fed to cows to dramatically increase milk production. While legal in the U.S. since being approved by the FDA in 1993, rBGH is not permitted in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the entire European Union due to human health concerns.


6 foods legal in the US that are banned in other countries

Ever noticed how ingredients on your packaged foods don't always sound, well, like food?

Chances are, if the ingredient is not something you'd stock in your home kitchen, it's a preservative or artificial additive to boost the flavor, color or texture of whatever you're about to eat.

If you were cooking a recipe calling for an ingredient you didn't like or had heard potentially dangerous information about, you would probably cut out that ingredient, right? Such a luxury doesn't exist with packaged foods, though. In places like the European Union, legislature has banned additives that are potentially dangerous, while in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is still totally cool with them.

When it comes to reading ingredient lists, perhaps the best advice comes from food scholar Michael Pollan, who wrote in The Omnivore's Dilemma — and has since reiterated many, many times — don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. Abstaining from the food Europeans don't recognize as food may be another good rule to follow, because our foods are still full of ingredients banned across the pond.

Beef: Synthetic growth hormones

Synthetic growth hormones rBGH and rBST were approved for use in cows by the FDA in 1993 and the federal agency hasn't looked back. Not only do dairy cows injected with these hormones suffer from significant health problems (some of which are treated by administering antibiotics to the cows) and birth defects due to the hormones, but products for human consumption from rBGH and rBST cows do not need to be labeled as such. The European Commission banned hormones in livestock in 1981 and continues to not allow them.

Colorful foods: Artificial dyes

Food dyes like Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40, used to make unappealing food look more edible and enticing, have been found to cause hyperactivity in otherwise healthy children and carry allergy and cancer risks as well. The FDA approves the use of color additives in food, despite the fact these additives can also make unhealthy foods look appealing (think rainbow candies and red-tinted salmon flesh) and carry additional health risks. Many American food companies remove their dyes in overseas products, like M&M sold in the E.U., opting for natural coloring, but keep the dyes in the products for American consumers. In 2015, Kraft removed its Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 dyes from its iconic orange macaroni and cheese dinner in favor of natural coloring agents like paprika and annatto, setting a new standard for American food producers to cut the dyes from their products.

Soft drinks: Brominated vegetable oil (BVO)

Banned in places like Europe and Japan, BVO is a totally acceptable ingredient for Americans to ingest in their sodas and soft drinks. But what is BVO exactly? It's a chemical derived from vegetable oil that keeps citrus flavoring from separating in packaged beverages. Overexposure to bromine and brominated chemicals has been linked to memory loss and nerve disorders, though BVO is used in such small quantities in beverages, no conclusive studies have yet found its direct correlation with health disorders. In 2014, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo both vowed to remove BVO from their ingredients lists, in favor of more natural ingredients, but the FDA still considers BVO a safe ingredient. And, Mountain Dew still has brominated vegetable oil in its ingredients list as of February 2017. Here's another place you'll find BVO: Flame retardant.

Cereal and bread: Azodicarbonamide (ADA)

Azodi-what? Also known as the yoga mat chemical (you'll find azodicarbonamide in commercially baked bread and yoga mats), this chemical additive is a whitening agent and dough conditioner that the FDA considers safe for food uses including cereal flour and bread dough. Does bread need ADA in order to taste good? Of course not, but that's not going to stop large manufacturers from using this additive that helps keep their enormous quantities of food light and strong, just like yoga mats!

ADA is banned in Europe, but it is found in almost 500 common American grocery store and chain restaurant foods, despite the World Health Organization linking the potential carcinogen to diease. Subway phased out the ingredient in 2014 after national uproar about ADA in sandwich chain's bread, and while chains like Wendy's and McDonald's followed suit in removing the chemical from their menus, it's still FDA approved and totally legal.

Poultry, water and more: Arsenic

We know what you're thinking, this can't mean arsenic, like, the poison? Arsenic the poison is in our food?! Yes, yes it is. Arsenic, which can be naturally found in soil and water and absorbed by plants is currently under review by the FDA, which is aware of the risks long-term exposure to arsenic can trigger, including cancer and heart disease. Arsenic is one of the World Health Organization's top 10 chemicals of public health concern, and even in the U.S., drinking water, crops irrigated with arsenic-contaminated water and food prepared with contaminated water can make fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, dairy products and cereals all sources of arsenic in your diet. In the European Union, Japan and beyond, arsenic is also banned in livestock feed, though the FDA defends low quantities of arsenic found in poultry and other foods.

"Low fat" chips and more: Olestra

Named one of Time's 50 Worst Inventions, the FDA-approved Olestra is a calorie-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free chemical created to remove a need for fattening cooking oil but still bring the flavor to traditionally fatty foods like chips and fries. Sound too good to be true? Obviously, it is. You'll find Olestra in diet versions of food products like including chips, frozen yogurt and more.

Olestra been linked to gastrointestinal disease in children, terrible diarrhea in adults and has also been found to increase appetite, completely negating its potential fat-free benefits. You'll still find Olestra, sometimes referred to by its brand name Olean, in American foods, but it's banned in Canada and European countries.

If you're attempting to Google a mysterious ingredient and your autocorrect doesn't recognize it, perhaps take that as a sign this human-created substance isn't something natural you want to be putting in your body.


6 foods legal in the US that are banned in other countries

Ever noticed how ingredients on your packaged foods don't always sound, well, like food?

Chances are, if the ingredient is not something you'd stock in your home kitchen, it's a preservative or artificial additive to boost the flavor, color or texture of whatever you're about to eat.

If you were cooking a recipe calling for an ingredient you didn't like or had heard potentially dangerous information about, you would probably cut out that ingredient, right? Such a luxury doesn't exist with packaged foods, though. In places like the European Union, legislature has banned additives that are potentially dangerous, while in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is still totally cool with them.

When it comes to reading ingredient lists, perhaps the best advice comes from food scholar Michael Pollan, who wrote in The Omnivore's Dilemma — and has since reiterated many, many times — don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. Abstaining from the food Europeans don't recognize as food may be another good rule to follow, because our foods are still full of ingredients banned across the pond.

Beef: Synthetic growth hormones

Synthetic growth hormones rBGH and rBST were approved for use in cows by the FDA in 1993 and the federal agency hasn't looked back. Not only do dairy cows injected with these hormones suffer from significant health problems (some of which are treated by administering antibiotics to the cows) and birth defects due to the hormones, but products for human consumption from rBGH and rBST cows do not need to be labeled as such. The European Commission banned hormones in livestock in 1981 and continues to not allow them.

Colorful foods: Artificial dyes

Food dyes like Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40, used to make unappealing food look more edible and enticing, have been found to cause hyperactivity in otherwise healthy children and carry allergy and cancer risks as well. The FDA approves the use of color additives in food, despite the fact these additives can also make unhealthy foods look appealing (think rainbow candies and red-tinted salmon flesh) and carry additional health risks. Many American food companies remove their dyes in overseas products, like M&M sold in the E.U., opting for natural coloring, but keep the dyes in the products for American consumers. In 2015, Kraft removed its Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 dyes from its iconic orange macaroni and cheese dinner in favor of natural coloring agents like paprika and annatto, setting a new standard for American food producers to cut the dyes from their products.

Soft drinks: Brominated vegetable oil (BVO)

Banned in places like Europe and Japan, BVO is a totally acceptable ingredient for Americans to ingest in their sodas and soft drinks. But what is BVO exactly? It's a chemical derived from vegetable oil that keeps citrus flavoring from separating in packaged beverages. Overexposure to bromine and brominated chemicals has been linked to memory loss and nerve disorders, though BVO is used in such small quantities in beverages, no conclusive studies have yet found its direct correlation with health disorders. In 2014, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo both vowed to remove BVO from their ingredients lists, in favor of more natural ingredients, but the FDA still considers BVO a safe ingredient. And, Mountain Dew still has brominated vegetable oil in its ingredients list as of February 2017. Here's another place you'll find BVO: Flame retardant.

Cereal and bread: Azodicarbonamide (ADA)

Azodi-what? Also known as the yoga mat chemical (you'll find azodicarbonamide in commercially baked bread and yoga mats), this chemical additive is a whitening agent and dough conditioner that the FDA considers safe for food uses including cereal flour and bread dough. Does bread need ADA in order to taste good? Of course not, but that's not going to stop large manufacturers from using this additive that helps keep their enormous quantities of food light and strong, just like yoga mats!

ADA is banned in Europe, but it is found in almost 500 common American grocery store and chain restaurant foods, despite the World Health Organization linking the potential carcinogen to diease. Subway phased out the ingredient in 2014 after national uproar about ADA in sandwich chain's bread, and while chains like Wendy's and McDonald's followed suit in removing the chemical from their menus, it's still FDA approved and totally legal.

Poultry, water and more: Arsenic

We know what you're thinking, this can't mean arsenic, like, the poison? Arsenic the poison is in our food?! Yes, yes it is. Arsenic, which can be naturally found in soil and water and absorbed by plants is currently under review by the FDA, which is aware of the risks long-term exposure to arsenic can trigger, including cancer and heart disease. Arsenic is one of the World Health Organization's top 10 chemicals of public health concern, and even in the U.S., drinking water, crops irrigated with arsenic-contaminated water and food prepared with contaminated water can make fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, dairy products and cereals all sources of arsenic in your diet. In the European Union, Japan and beyond, arsenic is also banned in livestock feed, though the FDA defends low quantities of arsenic found in poultry and other foods.

"Low fat" chips and more: Olestra

Named one of Time's 50 Worst Inventions, the FDA-approved Olestra is a calorie-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free chemical created to remove a need for fattening cooking oil but still bring the flavor to traditionally fatty foods like chips and fries. Sound too good to be true? Obviously, it is. You'll find Olestra in diet versions of food products like including chips, frozen yogurt and more.

Olestra been linked to gastrointestinal disease in children, terrible diarrhea in adults and has also been found to increase appetite, completely negating its potential fat-free benefits. You'll still find Olestra, sometimes referred to by its brand name Olean, in American foods, but it's banned in Canada and European countries.

If you're attempting to Google a mysterious ingredient and your autocorrect doesn't recognize it, perhaps take that as a sign this human-created substance isn't something natural you want to be putting in your body.


6 foods legal in the US that are banned in other countries

Ever noticed how ingredients on your packaged foods don't always sound, well, like food?

Chances are, if the ingredient is not something you'd stock in your home kitchen, it's a preservative or artificial additive to boost the flavor, color or texture of whatever you're about to eat.

If you were cooking a recipe calling for an ingredient you didn't like or had heard potentially dangerous information about, you would probably cut out that ingredient, right? Such a luxury doesn't exist with packaged foods, though. In places like the European Union, legislature has banned additives that are potentially dangerous, while in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is still totally cool with them.

When it comes to reading ingredient lists, perhaps the best advice comes from food scholar Michael Pollan, who wrote in The Omnivore's Dilemma — and has since reiterated many, many times — don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. Abstaining from the food Europeans don't recognize as food may be another good rule to follow, because our foods are still full of ingredients banned across the pond.

Beef: Synthetic growth hormones

Synthetic growth hormones rBGH and rBST were approved for use in cows by the FDA in 1993 and the federal agency hasn't looked back. Not only do dairy cows injected with these hormones suffer from significant health problems (some of which are treated by administering antibiotics to the cows) and birth defects due to the hormones, but products for human consumption from rBGH and rBST cows do not need to be labeled as such. The European Commission banned hormones in livestock in 1981 and continues to not allow them.

Colorful foods: Artificial dyes

Food dyes like Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40, used to make unappealing food look more edible and enticing, have been found to cause hyperactivity in otherwise healthy children and carry allergy and cancer risks as well. The FDA approves the use of color additives in food, despite the fact these additives can also make unhealthy foods look appealing (think rainbow candies and red-tinted salmon flesh) and carry additional health risks. Many American food companies remove their dyes in overseas products, like M&M sold in the E.U., opting for natural coloring, but keep the dyes in the products for American consumers. In 2015, Kraft removed its Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 dyes from its iconic orange macaroni and cheese dinner in favor of natural coloring agents like paprika and annatto, setting a new standard for American food producers to cut the dyes from their products.

Soft drinks: Brominated vegetable oil (BVO)

Banned in places like Europe and Japan, BVO is a totally acceptable ingredient for Americans to ingest in their sodas and soft drinks. But what is BVO exactly? It's a chemical derived from vegetable oil that keeps citrus flavoring from separating in packaged beverages. Overexposure to bromine and brominated chemicals has been linked to memory loss and nerve disorders, though BVO is used in such small quantities in beverages, no conclusive studies have yet found its direct correlation with health disorders. In 2014, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo both vowed to remove BVO from their ingredients lists, in favor of more natural ingredients, but the FDA still considers BVO a safe ingredient. And, Mountain Dew still has brominated vegetable oil in its ingredients list as of February 2017. Here's another place you'll find BVO: Flame retardant.

Cereal and bread: Azodicarbonamide (ADA)

Azodi-what? Also known as the yoga mat chemical (you'll find azodicarbonamide in commercially baked bread and yoga mats), this chemical additive is a whitening agent and dough conditioner that the FDA considers safe for food uses including cereal flour and bread dough. Does bread need ADA in order to taste good? Of course not, but that's not going to stop large manufacturers from using this additive that helps keep their enormous quantities of food light and strong, just like yoga mats!

ADA is banned in Europe, but it is found in almost 500 common American grocery store and chain restaurant foods, despite the World Health Organization linking the potential carcinogen to diease. Subway phased out the ingredient in 2014 after national uproar about ADA in sandwich chain's bread, and while chains like Wendy's and McDonald's followed suit in removing the chemical from their menus, it's still FDA approved and totally legal.

Poultry, water and more: Arsenic

We know what you're thinking, this can't mean arsenic, like, the poison? Arsenic the poison is in our food?! Yes, yes it is. Arsenic, which can be naturally found in soil and water and absorbed by plants is currently under review by the FDA, which is aware of the risks long-term exposure to arsenic can trigger, including cancer and heart disease. Arsenic is one of the World Health Organization's top 10 chemicals of public health concern, and even in the U.S., drinking water, crops irrigated with arsenic-contaminated water and food prepared with contaminated water can make fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, dairy products and cereals all sources of arsenic in your diet. In the European Union, Japan and beyond, arsenic is also banned in livestock feed, though the FDA defends low quantities of arsenic found in poultry and other foods.

"Low fat" chips and more: Olestra

Named one of Time's 50 Worst Inventions, the FDA-approved Olestra is a calorie-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free chemical created to remove a need for fattening cooking oil but still bring the flavor to traditionally fatty foods like chips and fries. Sound too good to be true? Obviously, it is. You'll find Olestra in diet versions of food products like including chips, frozen yogurt and more.

Olestra been linked to gastrointestinal disease in children, terrible diarrhea in adults and has also been found to increase appetite, completely negating its potential fat-free benefits. You'll still find Olestra, sometimes referred to by its brand name Olean, in American foods, but it's banned in Canada and European countries.

If you're attempting to Google a mysterious ingredient and your autocorrect doesn't recognize it, perhaps take that as a sign this human-created substance isn't something natural you want to be putting in your body.


6 foods legal in the US that are banned in other countries

Ever noticed how ingredients on your packaged foods don't always sound, well, like food?

Chances are, if the ingredient is not something you'd stock in your home kitchen, it's a preservative or artificial additive to boost the flavor, color or texture of whatever you're about to eat.

If you were cooking a recipe calling for an ingredient you didn't like or had heard potentially dangerous information about, you would probably cut out that ingredient, right? Such a luxury doesn't exist with packaged foods, though. In places like the European Union, legislature has banned additives that are potentially dangerous, while in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is still totally cool with them.

When it comes to reading ingredient lists, perhaps the best advice comes from food scholar Michael Pollan, who wrote in The Omnivore's Dilemma — and has since reiterated many, many times — don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. Abstaining from the food Europeans don't recognize as food may be another good rule to follow, because our foods are still full of ingredients banned across the pond.

Beef: Synthetic growth hormones

Synthetic growth hormones rBGH and rBST were approved for use in cows by the FDA in 1993 and the federal agency hasn't looked back. Not only do dairy cows injected with these hormones suffer from significant health problems (some of which are treated by administering antibiotics to the cows) and birth defects due to the hormones, but products for human consumption from rBGH and rBST cows do not need to be labeled as such. The European Commission banned hormones in livestock in 1981 and continues to not allow them.

Colorful foods: Artificial dyes

Food dyes like Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40, used to make unappealing food look more edible and enticing, have been found to cause hyperactivity in otherwise healthy children and carry allergy and cancer risks as well. The FDA approves the use of color additives in food, despite the fact these additives can also make unhealthy foods look appealing (think rainbow candies and red-tinted salmon flesh) and carry additional health risks. Many American food companies remove their dyes in overseas products, like M&M sold in the E.U., opting for natural coloring, but keep the dyes in the products for American consumers. In 2015, Kraft removed its Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 dyes from its iconic orange macaroni and cheese dinner in favor of natural coloring agents like paprika and annatto, setting a new standard for American food producers to cut the dyes from their products.

Soft drinks: Brominated vegetable oil (BVO)

Banned in places like Europe and Japan, BVO is a totally acceptable ingredient for Americans to ingest in their sodas and soft drinks. But what is BVO exactly? It's a chemical derived from vegetable oil that keeps citrus flavoring from separating in packaged beverages. Overexposure to bromine and brominated chemicals has been linked to memory loss and nerve disorders, though BVO is used in such small quantities in beverages, no conclusive studies have yet found its direct correlation with health disorders. In 2014, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo both vowed to remove BVO from their ingredients lists, in favor of more natural ingredients, but the FDA still considers BVO a safe ingredient. And, Mountain Dew still has brominated vegetable oil in its ingredients list as of February 2017. Here's another place you'll find BVO: Flame retardant.

Cereal and bread: Azodicarbonamide (ADA)

Azodi-what? Also known as the yoga mat chemical (you'll find azodicarbonamide in commercially baked bread and yoga mats), this chemical additive is a whitening agent and dough conditioner that the FDA considers safe for food uses including cereal flour and bread dough. Does bread need ADA in order to taste good? Of course not, but that's not going to stop large manufacturers from using this additive that helps keep their enormous quantities of food light and strong, just like yoga mats!

ADA is banned in Europe, but it is found in almost 500 common American grocery store and chain restaurant foods, despite the World Health Organization linking the potential carcinogen to diease. Subway phased out the ingredient in 2014 after national uproar about ADA in sandwich chain's bread, and while chains like Wendy's and McDonald's followed suit in removing the chemical from their menus, it's still FDA approved and totally legal.

Poultry, water and more: Arsenic

We know what you're thinking, this can't mean arsenic, like, the poison? Arsenic the poison is in our food?! Yes, yes it is. Arsenic, which can be naturally found in soil and water and absorbed by plants is currently under review by the FDA, which is aware of the risks long-term exposure to arsenic can trigger, including cancer and heart disease. Arsenic is one of the World Health Organization's top 10 chemicals of public health concern, and even in the U.S., drinking water, crops irrigated with arsenic-contaminated water and food prepared with contaminated water can make fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, dairy products and cereals all sources of arsenic in your diet. In the European Union, Japan and beyond, arsenic is also banned in livestock feed, though the FDA defends low quantities of arsenic found in poultry and other foods.

"Low fat" chips and more: Olestra

Named one of Time's 50 Worst Inventions, the FDA-approved Olestra is a calorie-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free chemical created to remove a need for fattening cooking oil but still bring the flavor to traditionally fatty foods like chips and fries. Sound too good to be true? Obviously, it is. You'll find Olestra in diet versions of food products like including chips, frozen yogurt and more.

Olestra been linked to gastrointestinal disease in children, terrible diarrhea in adults and has also been found to increase appetite, completely negating its potential fat-free benefits. You'll still find Olestra, sometimes referred to by its brand name Olean, in American foods, but it's banned in Canada and European countries.

If you're attempting to Google a mysterious ingredient and your autocorrect doesn't recognize it, perhaps take that as a sign this human-created substance isn't something natural you want to be putting in your body.


6 foods legal in the US that are banned in other countries

Ever noticed how ingredients on your packaged foods don't always sound, well, like food?

Chances are, if the ingredient is not something you'd stock in your home kitchen, it's a preservative or artificial additive to boost the flavor, color or texture of whatever you're about to eat.

If you were cooking a recipe calling for an ingredient you didn't like or had heard potentially dangerous information about, you would probably cut out that ingredient, right? Such a luxury doesn't exist with packaged foods, though. In places like the European Union, legislature has banned additives that are potentially dangerous, while in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is still totally cool with them.

When it comes to reading ingredient lists, perhaps the best advice comes from food scholar Michael Pollan, who wrote in The Omnivore's Dilemma — and has since reiterated many, many times — don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. Abstaining from the food Europeans don't recognize as food may be another good rule to follow, because our foods are still full of ingredients banned across the pond.

Beef: Synthetic growth hormones

Synthetic growth hormones rBGH and rBST were approved for use in cows by the FDA in 1993 and the federal agency hasn't looked back. Not only do dairy cows injected with these hormones suffer from significant health problems (some of which are treated by administering antibiotics to the cows) and birth defects due to the hormones, but products for human consumption from rBGH and rBST cows do not need to be labeled as such. The European Commission banned hormones in livestock in 1981 and continues to not allow them.

Colorful foods: Artificial dyes

Food dyes like Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40, used to make unappealing food look more edible and enticing, have been found to cause hyperactivity in otherwise healthy children and carry allergy and cancer risks as well. The FDA approves the use of color additives in food, despite the fact these additives can also make unhealthy foods look appealing (think rainbow candies and red-tinted salmon flesh) and carry additional health risks. Many American food companies remove their dyes in overseas products, like M&M sold in the E.U., opting for natural coloring, but keep the dyes in the products for American consumers. In 2015, Kraft removed its Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 dyes from its iconic orange macaroni and cheese dinner in favor of natural coloring agents like paprika and annatto, setting a new standard for American food producers to cut the dyes from their products.

Soft drinks: Brominated vegetable oil (BVO)

Banned in places like Europe and Japan, BVO is a totally acceptable ingredient for Americans to ingest in their sodas and soft drinks. But what is BVO exactly? It's a chemical derived from vegetable oil that keeps citrus flavoring from separating in packaged beverages. Overexposure to bromine and brominated chemicals has been linked to memory loss and nerve disorders, though BVO is used in such small quantities in beverages, no conclusive studies have yet found its direct correlation with health disorders. In 2014, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo both vowed to remove BVO from their ingredients lists, in favor of more natural ingredients, but the FDA still considers BVO a safe ingredient. And, Mountain Dew still has brominated vegetable oil in its ingredients list as of February 2017. Here's another place you'll find BVO: Flame retardant.

Cereal and bread: Azodicarbonamide (ADA)

Azodi-what? Also known as the yoga mat chemical (you'll find azodicarbonamide in commercially baked bread and yoga mats), this chemical additive is a whitening agent and dough conditioner that the FDA considers safe for food uses including cereal flour and bread dough. Does bread need ADA in order to taste good? Of course not, but that's not going to stop large manufacturers from using this additive that helps keep their enormous quantities of food light and strong, just like yoga mats!

ADA is banned in Europe, but it is found in almost 500 common American grocery store and chain restaurant foods, despite the World Health Organization linking the potential carcinogen to diease. Subway phased out the ingredient in 2014 after national uproar about ADA in sandwich chain's bread, and while chains like Wendy's and McDonald's followed suit in removing the chemical from their menus, it's still FDA approved and totally legal.

Poultry, water and more: Arsenic

We know what you're thinking, this can't mean arsenic, like, the poison? Arsenic the poison is in our food?! Yes, yes it is. Arsenic, which can be naturally found in soil and water and absorbed by plants is currently under review by the FDA, which is aware of the risks long-term exposure to arsenic can trigger, including cancer and heart disease. Arsenic is one of the World Health Organization's top 10 chemicals of public health concern, and even in the U.S., drinking water, crops irrigated with arsenic-contaminated water and food prepared with contaminated water can make fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, dairy products and cereals all sources of arsenic in your diet. In the European Union, Japan and beyond, arsenic is also banned in livestock feed, though the FDA defends low quantities of arsenic found in poultry and other foods.

"Low fat" chips and more: Olestra

Named one of Time's 50 Worst Inventions, the FDA-approved Olestra is a calorie-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free chemical created to remove a need for fattening cooking oil but still bring the flavor to traditionally fatty foods like chips and fries. Sound too good to be true? Obviously, it is. You'll find Olestra in diet versions of food products like including chips, frozen yogurt and more.

Olestra been linked to gastrointestinal disease in children, terrible diarrhea in adults and has also been found to increase appetite, completely negating its potential fat-free benefits. You'll still find Olestra, sometimes referred to by its brand name Olean, in American foods, but it's banned in Canada and European countries.

If you're attempting to Google a mysterious ingredient and your autocorrect doesn't recognize it, perhaps take that as a sign this human-created substance isn't something natural you want to be putting in your body.


6 foods legal in the US that are banned in other countries

Ever noticed how ingredients on your packaged foods don't always sound, well, like food?

Chances are, if the ingredient is not something you'd stock in your home kitchen, it's a preservative or artificial additive to boost the flavor, color or texture of whatever you're about to eat.

If you were cooking a recipe calling for an ingredient you didn't like or had heard potentially dangerous information about, you would probably cut out that ingredient, right? Such a luxury doesn't exist with packaged foods, though. In places like the European Union, legislature has banned additives that are potentially dangerous, while in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is still totally cool with them.

When it comes to reading ingredient lists, perhaps the best advice comes from food scholar Michael Pollan, who wrote in The Omnivore's Dilemma — and has since reiterated many, many times — don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. Abstaining from the food Europeans don't recognize as food may be another good rule to follow, because our foods are still full of ingredients banned across the pond.

Beef: Synthetic growth hormones

Synthetic growth hormones rBGH and rBST were approved for use in cows by the FDA in 1993 and the federal agency hasn't looked back. Not only do dairy cows injected with these hormones suffer from significant health problems (some of which are treated by administering antibiotics to the cows) and birth defects due to the hormones, but products for human consumption from rBGH and rBST cows do not need to be labeled as such. The European Commission banned hormones in livestock in 1981 and continues to not allow them.

Colorful foods: Artificial dyes

Food dyes like Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40, used to make unappealing food look more edible and enticing, have been found to cause hyperactivity in otherwise healthy children and carry allergy and cancer risks as well. The FDA approves the use of color additives in food, despite the fact these additives can also make unhealthy foods look appealing (think rainbow candies and red-tinted salmon flesh) and carry additional health risks. Many American food companies remove their dyes in overseas products, like M&M sold in the E.U., opting for natural coloring, but keep the dyes in the products for American consumers. In 2015, Kraft removed its Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 dyes from its iconic orange macaroni and cheese dinner in favor of natural coloring agents like paprika and annatto, setting a new standard for American food producers to cut the dyes from their products.

Soft drinks: Brominated vegetable oil (BVO)

Banned in places like Europe and Japan, BVO is a totally acceptable ingredient for Americans to ingest in their sodas and soft drinks. But what is BVO exactly? It's a chemical derived from vegetable oil that keeps citrus flavoring from separating in packaged beverages. Overexposure to bromine and brominated chemicals has been linked to memory loss and nerve disorders, though BVO is used in such small quantities in beverages, no conclusive studies have yet found its direct correlation with health disorders. In 2014, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo both vowed to remove BVO from their ingredients lists, in favor of more natural ingredients, but the FDA still considers BVO a safe ingredient. And, Mountain Dew still has brominated vegetable oil in its ingredients list as of February 2017. Here's another place you'll find BVO: Flame retardant.

Cereal and bread: Azodicarbonamide (ADA)

Azodi-what? Also known as the yoga mat chemical (you'll find azodicarbonamide in commercially baked bread and yoga mats), this chemical additive is a whitening agent and dough conditioner that the FDA considers safe for food uses including cereal flour and bread dough. Does bread need ADA in order to taste good? Of course not, but that's not going to stop large manufacturers from using this additive that helps keep their enormous quantities of food light and strong, just like yoga mats!

ADA is banned in Europe, but it is found in almost 500 common American grocery store and chain restaurant foods, despite the World Health Organization linking the potential carcinogen to diease. Subway phased out the ingredient in 2014 after national uproar about ADA in sandwich chain's bread, and while chains like Wendy's and McDonald's followed suit in removing the chemical from their menus, it's still FDA approved and totally legal.

Poultry, water and more: Arsenic

We know what you're thinking, this can't mean arsenic, like, the poison? Arsenic the poison is in our food?! Yes, yes it is. Arsenic, which can be naturally found in soil and water and absorbed by plants is currently under review by the FDA, which is aware of the risks long-term exposure to arsenic can trigger, including cancer and heart disease. Arsenic is one of the World Health Organization's top 10 chemicals of public health concern, and even in the U.S., drinking water, crops irrigated with arsenic-contaminated water and food prepared with contaminated water can make fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, dairy products and cereals all sources of arsenic in your diet. In the European Union, Japan and beyond, arsenic is also banned in livestock feed, though the FDA defends low quantities of arsenic found in poultry and other foods.

"Low fat" chips and more: Olestra

Named one of Time's 50 Worst Inventions, the FDA-approved Olestra is a calorie-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free chemical created to remove a need for fattening cooking oil but still bring the flavor to traditionally fatty foods like chips and fries. Sound too good to be true? Obviously, it is. You'll find Olestra in diet versions of food products like including chips, frozen yogurt and more.

Olestra been linked to gastrointestinal disease in children, terrible diarrhea in adults and has also been found to increase appetite, completely negating its potential fat-free benefits. You'll still find Olestra, sometimes referred to by its brand name Olean, in American foods, but it's banned in Canada and European countries.

If you're attempting to Google a mysterious ingredient and your autocorrect doesn't recognize it, perhaps take that as a sign this human-created substance isn't something natural you want to be putting in your body.


6 foods legal in the US that are banned in other countries

Ever noticed how ingredients on your packaged foods don't always sound, well, like food?

Chances are, if the ingredient is not something you'd stock in your home kitchen, it's a preservative or artificial additive to boost the flavor, color or texture of whatever you're about to eat.

If you were cooking a recipe calling for an ingredient you didn't like or had heard potentially dangerous information about, you would probably cut out that ingredient, right? Such a luxury doesn't exist with packaged foods, though. In places like the European Union, legislature has banned additives that are potentially dangerous, while in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is still totally cool with them.

When it comes to reading ingredient lists, perhaps the best advice comes from food scholar Michael Pollan, who wrote in The Omnivore's Dilemma — and has since reiterated many, many times — don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. Abstaining from the food Europeans don't recognize as food may be another good rule to follow, because our foods are still full of ingredients banned across the pond.

Beef: Synthetic growth hormones

Synthetic growth hormones rBGH and rBST were approved for use in cows by the FDA in 1993 and the federal agency hasn't looked back. Not only do dairy cows injected with these hormones suffer from significant health problems (some of which are treated by administering antibiotics to the cows) and birth defects due to the hormones, but products for human consumption from rBGH and rBST cows do not need to be labeled as such. The European Commission banned hormones in livestock in 1981 and continues to not allow them.

Colorful foods: Artificial dyes

Food dyes like Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40, used to make unappealing food look more edible and enticing, have been found to cause hyperactivity in otherwise healthy children and carry allergy and cancer risks as well. The FDA approves the use of color additives in food, despite the fact these additives can also make unhealthy foods look appealing (think rainbow candies and red-tinted salmon flesh) and carry additional health risks. Many American food companies remove their dyes in overseas products, like M&M sold in the E.U., opting for natural coloring, but keep the dyes in the products for American consumers. In 2015, Kraft removed its Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 dyes from its iconic orange macaroni and cheese dinner in favor of natural coloring agents like paprika and annatto, setting a new standard for American food producers to cut the dyes from their products.

Soft drinks: Brominated vegetable oil (BVO)

Banned in places like Europe and Japan, BVO is a totally acceptable ingredient for Americans to ingest in their sodas and soft drinks. But what is BVO exactly? It's a chemical derived from vegetable oil that keeps citrus flavoring from separating in packaged beverages. Overexposure to bromine and brominated chemicals has been linked to memory loss and nerve disorders, though BVO is used in such small quantities in beverages, no conclusive studies have yet found its direct correlation with health disorders. In 2014, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo both vowed to remove BVO from their ingredients lists, in favor of more natural ingredients, but the FDA still considers BVO a safe ingredient. And, Mountain Dew still has brominated vegetable oil in its ingredients list as of February 2017. Here's another place you'll find BVO: Flame retardant.

Cereal and bread: Azodicarbonamide (ADA)

Azodi-what? Also known as the yoga mat chemical (you'll find azodicarbonamide in commercially baked bread and yoga mats), this chemical additive is a whitening agent and dough conditioner that the FDA considers safe for food uses including cereal flour and bread dough. Does bread need ADA in order to taste good? Of course not, but that's not going to stop large manufacturers from using this additive that helps keep their enormous quantities of food light and strong, just like yoga mats!

ADA is banned in Europe, but it is found in almost 500 common American grocery store and chain restaurant foods, despite the World Health Organization linking the potential carcinogen to diease. Subway phased out the ingredient in 2014 after national uproar about ADA in sandwich chain's bread, and while chains like Wendy's and McDonald's followed suit in removing the chemical from their menus, it's still FDA approved and totally legal.

Poultry, water and more: Arsenic

We know what you're thinking, this can't mean arsenic, like, the poison? Arsenic the poison is in our food?! Yes, yes it is. Arsenic, which can be naturally found in soil and water and absorbed by plants is currently under review by the FDA, which is aware of the risks long-term exposure to arsenic can trigger, including cancer and heart disease. Arsenic is one of the World Health Organization's top 10 chemicals of public health concern, and even in the U.S., drinking water, crops irrigated with arsenic-contaminated water and food prepared with contaminated water can make fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, dairy products and cereals all sources of arsenic in your diet. In the European Union, Japan and beyond, arsenic is also banned in livestock feed, though the FDA defends low quantities of arsenic found in poultry and other foods.

"Low fat" chips and more: Olestra

Named one of Time's 50 Worst Inventions, the FDA-approved Olestra is a calorie-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free chemical created to remove a need for fattening cooking oil but still bring the flavor to traditionally fatty foods like chips and fries. Sound too good to be true? Obviously, it is. You'll find Olestra in diet versions of food products like including chips, frozen yogurt and more.

Olestra been linked to gastrointestinal disease in children, terrible diarrhea in adults and has also been found to increase appetite, completely negating its potential fat-free benefits. You'll still find Olestra, sometimes referred to by its brand name Olean, in American foods, but it's banned in Canada and European countries.

If you're attempting to Google a mysterious ingredient and your autocorrect doesn't recognize it, perhaps take that as a sign this human-created substance isn't something natural you want to be putting in your body.


6 foods legal in the US that are banned in other countries

Ever noticed how ingredients on your packaged foods don't always sound, well, like food?

Chances are, if the ingredient is not something you'd stock in your home kitchen, it's a preservative or artificial additive to boost the flavor, color or texture of whatever you're about to eat.

If you were cooking a recipe calling for an ingredient you didn't like or had heard potentially dangerous information about, you would probably cut out that ingredient, right? Such a luxury doesn't exist with packaged foods, though. In places like the European Union, legislature has banned additives that are potentially dangerous, while in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is still totally cool with them.

When it comes to reading ingredient lists, perhaps the best advice comes from food scholar Michael Pollan, who wrote in The Omnivore's Dilemma — and has since reiterated many, many times — don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. Abstaining from the food Europeans don't recognize as food may be another good rule to follow, because our foods are still full of ingredients banned across the pond.

Beef: Synthetic growth hormones

Synthetic growth hormones rBGH and rBST were approved for use in cows by the FDA in 1993 and the federal agency hasn't looked back. Not only do dairy cows injected with these hormones suffer from significant health problems (some of which are treated by administering antibiotics to the cows) and birth defects due to the hormones, but products for human consumption from rBGH and rBST cows do not need to be labeled as such. The European Commission banned hormones in livestock in 1981 and continues to not allow them.

Colorful foods: Artificial dyes

Food dyes like Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40, used to make unappealing food look more edible and enticing, have been found to cause hyperactivity in otherwise healthy children and carry allergy and cancer risks as well. The FDA approves the use of color additives in food, despite the fact these additives can also make unhealthy foods look appealing (think rainbow candies and red-tinted salmon flesh) and carry additional health risks. Many American food companies remove their dyes in overseas products, like M&M sold in the E.U., opting for natural coloring, but keep the dyes in the products for American consumers. In 2015, Kraft removed its Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 dyes from its iconic orange macaroni and cheese dinner in favor of natural coloring agents like paprika and annatto, setting a new standard for American food producers to cut the dyes from their products.

Soft drinks: Brominated vegetable oil (BVO)

Banned in places like Europe and Japan, BVO is a totally acceptable ingredient for Americans to ingest in their sodas and soft drinks. But what is BVO exactly? It's a chemical derived from vegetable oil that keeps citrus flavoring from separating in packaged beverages. Overexposure to bromine and brominated chemicals has been linked to memory loss and nerve disorders, though BVO is used in such small quantities in beverages, no conclusive studies have yet found its direct correlation with health disorders. In 2014, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo both vowed to remove BVO from their ingredients lists, in favor of more natural ingredients, but the FDA still considers BVO a safe ingredient. And, Mountain Dew still has brominated vegetable oil in its ingredients list as of February 2017. Here's another place you'll find BVO: Flame retardant.

Cereal and bread: Azodicarbonamide (ADA)

Azodi-what? Also known as the yoga mat chemical (you'll find azodicarbonamide in commercially baked bread and yoga mats), this chemical additive is a whitening agent and dough conditioner that the FDA considers safe for food uses including cereal flour and bread dough. Does bread need ADA in order to taste good? Of course not, but that's not going to stop large manufacturers from using this additive that helps keep their enormous quantities of food light and strong, just like yoga mats!

ADA is banned in Europe, but it is found in almost 500 common American grocery store and chain restaurant foods, despite the World Health Organization linking the potential carcinogen to diease. Subway phased out the ingredient in 2014 after national uproar about ADA in sandwich chain's bread, and while chains like Wendy's and McDonald's followed suit in removing the chemical from their menus, it's still FDA approved and totally legal.

Poultry, water and more: Arsenic

We know what you're thinking, this can't mean arsenic, like, the poison? Arsenic the poison is in our food?! Yes, yes it is. Arsenic, which can be naturally found in soil and water and absorbed by plants is currently under review by the FDA, which is aware of the risks long-term exposure to arsenic can trigger, including cancer and heart disease. Arsenic is one of the World Health Organization's top 10 chemicals of public health concern, and even in the U.S., drinking water, crops irrigated with arsenic-contaminated water and food prepared with contaminated water can make fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, dairy products and cereals all sources of arsenic in your diet. In the European Union, Japan and beyond, arsenic is also banned in livestock feed, though the FDA defends low quantities of arsenic found in poultry and other foods.

"Low fat" chips and more: Olestra

Named one of Time's 50 Worst Inventions, the FDA-approved Olestra is a calorie-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free chemical created to remove a need for fattening cooking oil but still bring the flavor to traditionally fatty foods like chips and fries. Sound too good to be true? Obviously, it is. You'll find Olestra in diet versions of food products like including chips, frozen yogurt and more.

Olestra been linked to gastrointestinal disease in children, terrible diarrhea in adults and has also been found to increase appetite, completely negating its potential fat-free benefits. You'll still find Olestra, sometimes referred to by its brand name Olean, in American foods, but it's banned in Canada and European countries.

If you're attempting to Google a mysterious ingredient and your autocorrect doesn't recognize it, perhaps take that as a sign this human-created substance isn't something natural you want to be putting in your body.


6 foods legal in the US that are banned in other countries

Ever noticed how ingredients on your packaged foods don't always sound, well, like food?

Chances are, if the ingredient is not something you'd stock in your home kitchen, it's a preservative or artificial additive to boost the flavor, color or texture of whatever you're about to eat.

If you were cooking a recipe calling for an ingredient you didn't like or had heard potentially dangerous information about, you would probably cut out that ingredient, right? Such a luxury doesn't exist with packaged foods, though. In places like the European Union, legislature has banned additives that are potentially dangerous, while in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is still totally cool with them.

When it comes to reading ingredient lists, perhaps the best advice comes from food scholar Michael Pollan, who wrote in The Omnivore's Dilemma — and has since reiterated many, many times — don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. Abstaining from the food Europeans don't recognize as food may be another good rule to follow, because our foods are still full of ingredients banned across the pond.

Beef: Synthetic growth hormones

Synthetic growth hormones rBGH and rBST were approved for use in cows by the FDA in 1993 and the federal agency hasn't looked back. Not only do dairy cows injected with these hormones suffer from significant health problems (some of which are treated by administering antibiotics to the cows) and birth defects due to the hormones, but products for human consumption from rBGH and rBST cows do not need to be labeled as such. The European Commission banned hormones in livestock in 1981 and continues to not allow them.

Colorful foods: Artificial dyes

Food dyes like Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40, used to make unappealing food look more edible and enticing, have been found to cause hyperactivity in otherwise healthy children and carry allergy and cancer risks as well. The FDA approves the use of color additives in food, despite the fact these additives can also make unhealthy foods look appealing (think rainbow candies and red-tinted salmon flesh) and carry additional health risks. Many American food companies remove their dyes in overseas products, like M&M sold in the E.U., opting for natural coloring, but keep the dyes in the products for American consumers. In 2015, Kraft removed its Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 dyes from its iconic orange macaroni and cheese dinner in favor of natural coloring agents like paprika and annatto, setting a new standard for American food producers to cut the dyes from their products.

Soft drinks: Brominated vegetable oil (BVO)

Banned in places like Europe and Japan, BVO is a totally acceptable ingredient for Americans to ingest in their sodas and soft drinks. But what is BVO exactly? It's a chemical derived from vegetable oil that keeps citrus flavoring from separating in packaged beverages. Overexposure to bromine and brominated chemicals has been linked to memory loss and nerve disorders, though BVO is used in such small quantities in beverages, no conclusive studies have yet found its direct correlation with health disorders. In 2014, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo both vowed to remove BVO from their ingredients lists, in favor of more natural ingredients, but the FDA still considers BVO a safe ingredient. And, Mountain Dew still has brominated vegetable oil in its ingredients list as of February 2017. Here's another place you'll find BVO: Flame retardant.

Cereal and bread: Azodicarbonamide (ADA)

Azodi-what? Also known as the yoga mat chemical (you'll find azodicarbonamide in commercially baked bread and yoga mats), this chemical additive is a whitening agent and dough conditioner that the FDA considers safe for food uses including cereal flour and bread dough. Does bread need ADA in order to taste good? Of course not, but that's not going to stop large manufacturers from using this additive that helps keep their enormous quantities of food light and strong, just like yoga mats!

ADA is banned in Europe, but it is found in almost 500 common American grocery store and chain restaurant foods, despite the World Health Organization linking the potential carcinogen to diease. Subway phased out the ingredient in 2014 after national uproar about ADA in sandwich chain's bread, and while chains like Wendy's and McDonald's followed suit in removing the chemical from their menus, it's still FDA approved and totally legal.

Poultry, water and more: Arsenic

We know what you're thinking, this can't mean arsenic, like, the poison? Arsenic the poison is in our food?! Yes, yes it is. Arsenic, which can be naturally found in soil and water and absorbed by plants is currently under review by the FDA, which is aware of the risks long-term exposure to arsenic can trigger, including cancer and heart disease. Arsenic is one of the World Health Organization's top 10 chemicals of public health concern, and even in the U.S., drinking water, crops irrigated with arsenic-contaminated water and food prepared with contaminated water can make fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, dairy products and cereals all sources of arsenic in your diet. In the European Union, Japan and beyond, arsenic is also banned in livestock feed, though the FDA defends low quantities of arsenic found in poultry and other foods.

"Low fat" chips and more: Olestra

Named one of Time's 50 Worst Inventions, the FDA-approved Olestra is a calorie-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free chemical created to remove a need for fattening cooking oil but still bring the flavor to traditionally fatty foods like chips and fries. Sound too good to be true? Obviously, it is. You'll find Olestra in diet versions of food products like including chips, frozen yogurt and more.

Olestra been linked to gastrointestinal disease in children, terrible diarrhea in adults and has also been found to increase appetite, completely negating its potential fat-free benefits. You'll still find Olestra, sometimes referred to by its brand name Olean, in American foods, but it's banned in Canada and European countries.

If you're attempting to Google a mysterious ingredient and your autocorrect doesn't recognize it, perhaps take that as a sign this human-created substance isn't something natural you want to be putting in your body.


6 foods legal in the US that are banned in other countries

Ever noticed how ingredients on your packaged foods don't always sound, well, like food?

Chances are, if the ingredient is not something you'd stock in your home kitchen, it's a preservative or artificial additive to boost the flavor, color or texture of whatever you're about to eat.

If you were cooking a recipe calling for an ingredient you didn't like or had heard potentially dangerous information about, you would probably cut out that ingredient, right? Such a luxury doesn't exist with packaged foods, though. In places like the European Union, legislature has banned additives that are potentially dangerous, while in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is still totally cool with them.

When it comes to reading ingredient lists, perhaps the best advice comes from food scholar Michael Pollan, who wrote in The Omnivore's Dilemma — and has since reiterated many, many times — don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. Abstaining from the food Europeans don't recognize as food may be another good rule to follow, because our foods are still full of ingredients banned across the pond.

Beef: Synthetic growth hormones

Synthetic growth hormones rBGH and rBST were approved for use in cows by the FDA in 1993 and the federal agency hasn't looked back. Not only do dairy cows injected with these hormones suffer from significant health problems (some of which are treated by administering antibiotics to the cows) and birth defects due to the hormones, but products for human consumption from rBGH and rBST cows do not need to be labeled as such. The European Commission banned hormones in livestock in 1981 and continues to not allow them.

Colorful foods: Artificial dyes

Food dyes like Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40, used to make unappealing food look more edible and enticing, have been found to cause hyperactivity in otherwise healthy children and carry allergy and cancer risks as well. The FDA approves the use of color additives in food, despite the fact these additives can also make unhealthy foods look appealing (think rainbow candies and red-tinted salmon flesh) and carry additional health risks. Many American food companies remove their dyes in overseas products, like M&M sold in the E.U., opting for natural coloring, but keep the dyes in the products for American consumers. In 2015, Kraft removed its Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 dyes from its iconic orange macaroni and cheese dinner in favor of natural coloring agents like paprika and annatto, setting a new standard for American food producers to cut the dyes from their products.

Soft drinks: Brominated vegetable oil (BVO)

Banned in places like Europe and Japan, BVO is a totally acceptable ingredient for Americans to ingest in their sodas and soft drinks. But what is BVO exactly? It's a chemical derived from vegetable oil that keeps citrus flavoring from separating in packaged beverages. Overexposure to bromine and brominated chemicals has been linked to memory loss and nerve disorders, though BVO is used in such small quantities in beverages, no conclusive studies have yet found its direct correlation with health disorders. In 2014, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo both vowed to remove BVO from their ingredients lists, in favor of more natural ingredients, but the FDA still considers BVO a safe ingredient. And, Mountain Dew still has brominated vegetable oil in its ingredients list as of February 2017. Here's another place you'll find BVO: Flame retardant.

Cereal and bread: Azodicarbonamide (ADA)

Azodi-what? Also known as the yoga mat chemical (you'll find azodicarbonamide in commercially baked bread and yoga mats), this chemical additive is a whitening agent and dough conditioner that the FDA considers safe for food uses including cereal flour and bread dough. Does bread need ADA in order to taste good? Of course not, but that's not going to stop large manufacturers from using this additive that helps keep their enormous quantities of food light and strong, just like yoga mats!

ADA is banned in Europe, but it is found in almost 500 common American grocery store and chain restaurant foods, despite the World Health Organization linking the potential carcinogen to diease. Subway phased out the ingredient in 2014 after national uproar about ADA in sandwich chain's bread, and while chains like Wendy's and McDonald's followed suit in removing the chemical from their menus, it's still FDA approved and totally legal.

Poultry, water and more: Arsenic

We know what you're thinking, this can't mean arsenic, like, the poison? Arsenic the poison is in our food?! Yes, yes it is. Arsenic, which can be naturally found in soil and water and absorbed by plants is currently under review by the FDA, which is aware of the risks long-term exposure to arsenic can trigger, including cancer and heart disease. Arsenic is one of the World Health Organization's top 10 chemicals of public health concern, and even in the U.S., drinking water, crops irrigated with arsenic-contaminated water and food prepared with contaminated water can make fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, dairy products and cereals all sources of arsenic in your diet. In the European Union, Japan and beyond, arsenic is also banned in livestock feed, though the FDA defends low quantities of arsenic found in poultry and other foods.

"Low fat" chips and more: Olestra

Named one of Time's 50 Worst Inventions, the FDA-approved Olestra is a calorie-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free chemical created to remove a need for fattening cooking oil but still bring the flavor to traditionally fatty foods like chips and fries. Sound too good to be true? Obviously, it is. You'll find Olestra in diet versions of food products like including chips, frozen yogurt and more.

Olestra been linked to gastrointestinal disease in children, terrible diarrhea in adults and has also been found to increase appetite, completely negating its potential fat-free benefits. You'll still find Olestra, sometimes referred to by its brand name Olean, in American foods, but it's banned in Canada and European countries.

If you're attempting to Google a mysterious ingredient and your autocorrect doesn't recognize it, perhaps take that as a sign this human-created substance isn't something natural you want to be putting in your body.


Watch the video: 010 ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ ΠΡΟΪΟΝΤΑ ΣΤΟ ΕΞΩΤΕΡΙΚΟ (October 2021).