Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

6 Common Food Additives Used in the U.S. That Are Banned in Other Countries

Food
6 Common Food Additives Used in the U.S. That Are Banned in Other Countries

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the use of food additives like preservatives, colors, sweeteners, fat replacers, emulsifiers and other ingredients added to food to maintain or improve safety, freshness, nutritional value, taste, texture and appearance. Food additives can be direct (those added for a specific purpose) or indirect (those added in trace amounts due to packaging, storage or handling) and are determined safe for market use only after stringent FDA review.

Many food additives approved for use in the U.S. are banned in other countries.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Due to the FDA's regulation of food additives, most people assume that if food is on grocery store shelves, it must be 100 percent safe for human consumption. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. As the FDA states: "Because of inherent limitations of science, FDA can never be absolutely certain of the absence of any risk from the use of any substance." In fact, several food additives approved for use in the U.S. by the FDA are banned in other parts of the world.

So if you think everything in your pantry is safe to eat, think again. Here are 6 common food additives found in the U.S. that are banned in other countries.

Azodicarbonamide (ADA)

  • Use: whitening or bleaching agent for cereal flour and as a dough conditioner in baking; also used to make rubber products like yoga mats and shoe soles
  • Concerns: During baking ADA breaks down to form new chemicals, one of which, semicarbizide (SEM), is known to increase the incidence of tumors in lab rats.
  • Banned: European Union

Bromated flour

  • Use: improves gluten content in baked goods to strengthen dough and promote rising
  • Concerns: Studies dating back to 1982 have found that potassium bromate used in bromated flour causes cancer in lab rats and is "possibly carcinogenic to humans"
  • Banned: European Union, Canada, Brazil, Peru, China

Brominated vegetable oil (BVO)

  • Use: added to citrus drinks like Mountain Dew to keep flavor evenly distributed; also used as a flame retardant
  • Concerns: nervous system depressant, endocrine disruptor, causes reproductive and behavioral problems
  • Banned: Europe and Japan

Olestra/Olean

  • Use: fat-free fat replacer in foods like potato chips
  • Concerns: gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea; interferes with absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
  • Banned: U.K. and Canada

Ractopamine

Recombinant Bovine growth hormone (rBGH)

  • Use: artificial growth hormone given to cows to increase milk production
  • Concerns: increased risk of breast and prostate cancer
  • Banned: European Union, Canada, Japan, Australia

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

McDonald’s Is Curbing Use of Antibiotics in Chicken, But Does It Go Far Enough?

Hershey’s Most Popular Chocolates Will Go GMO-Free by End of the Year

Could Common Food Additives Be Causing Serious Health Problems?

A graphic shows how Rhoel Dinglasan's smartphone-based saliva test works. University of Florida

As the world continues to navigate the line between reopening and maintaining safety protocols to slow the spread of the coronavirus, rapid and accurate diagnostic screening remains critical to control the outbreak. New mobile-phone-based, self-administered COVID-19 tests being developed independently around the world could be a key breakthrough in making testing more widely available, especially in developing nations.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A meteorologist monitors weather in NOAA's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction on July 2, 2013 in Riverdale, Maryland. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Trump White House is now set to appoint two climate deniers to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in one month.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A plastic bag caught in a tree in New Jersey's Palisades Park. James Leynse / Stone / Getty Images

New Jersey is one step closer to passing what environmental advocates say is the strongest anti-plastic legislation in the nation.

Read More Show Less

Did you know that nearly 30% of adults do, or will, suffer from a sleep condition at some point in their life? Anyone who has experienced disruptions in their sleep is familiar with the havoc that it can wreak on your body and mind. Lack of sleep, for one, can lead to anxiety and lethargy in the short-term. In the long-term, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, there are proven natural supplements that can reduce insomnia and improve quality sleep for the better. CBD oil, in particular, has been scientifically proven to promote relaxing and fulfilling sleep. Best of all, CBD is non-addictive, widely available, and affordable for just about everyone to enjoy. For these very reasons, we have put together a comprehensive guide on the best CBD oil for sleep. Our goal is to provide objective, transparent information about CBD products so you are an informed buyer.

Read More Show Less
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to reporters during her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on Sept. 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill to boost clean energy while phasing out the use of coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators that are known pollutants and contribute to the climate crisis, as the AP reported.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch