When food-makers around the world make potentially dangerous and deadly foods, some governments ban them. In the U.S., that isn’t so. There are numerous foods that are available here that simply can’t be found outside of this country, and it’s not because we are more free. While some countries ban ingredients that cause things like cancer and organ failure—the U.S. doesn’t only allow them to be sold, but doesn’t warn consumers.
According to a book first profiled by BuzzFeed, “Rich Food, Poor Food,” these “Banned Bad Boys” of food are so dangerous, other countries even prescribe criminal penalties if they are found in foods. Here, however, they are abundant.
6 Ingredients Allowed in the U.S. While Banned in other Nations
- 1. Azodicarbonamide is one ingredient, found in frozen dinners, boxed pastas, bread, and packaged baked goods. This one is used to bleach flour and yoga mats (interesting multi-purposes). But, it’s also known to induce asthma and is banned in Australia, the U.K. and most European nations.
- 2. Brominated vegetable oil can be found in sports drinks and citrus-flavored sodas. It’s also loaded into the many Mountain Dew varieties. In addition to beverages in the U.S., it’s also used on carpets to make them flame retardant. studies have found that BVO can actually build up in human tissue, accumulating in large quantities over long periods of soda consumption. It’s also been linked to hearing loss, schizophrenia, growth problems, birth defects, and major organ damage. Brominated vegetable oil is banned in over 100 countries—but not the U.S.
- 3. Potassium Bromate is derived from the same chemical as brominated vegetable oil and is used in baked products to save time and money. But it also causes cancer, nervous system damage and kidney damage. It’s banned in Canada, Europe, and China.
- 4. Olestra (Olean) was all the rage when it first hit store shelves because it reduces fat absorption in the digestive system. But, because of this it also causes vitamin depletion, cramping, and anal leakage. Canada and the U.K. have banned it.
- 5. Arsenic is a poison and a tool of murder in many mysteries. But it’s also used in chicken to make it look pinker. It can kill you, but it makes your chicken pretty. So, while it’s still used in the U.S., with the exception of Maryland state, it’s been banned in the European Union.
- 6. Artificial Colors are perhaps the most widely used on the list, put in everything from cereals to candy, and even cheese. These dyes come from petroleum—the stuff also used to fuel your car and pave roads. This food coloring is linked to brain cancer, ADHD, and nervous system damage just to name a few. These artificial dyes are banned in the U.K., France, Austria, Finland, and Norway.
The U.S. government may never ban these disease-causing ingredients. And as with GM-foods, they may never provide a warning label either. (After all, who would buy chips if the label cautioned against anal leakage?) Instead, it’s up to you to help spread this information so that all U.S. consumers can make educated decisions and “vote” with their purchases.