25 April 2013

Veritas CCXCIV

Banned foods allowed in U.S.

Yellow Dye 5 (Coloring Agent) -- Found in most boxed macaroni and cheese, Yellow 5 has been banned in Austria and Norway and is being phased out of similar foods in the United Kingdom, according to a petition to remove the dye from Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

Yellow Dye 6 (Coloring Agent) -- Also used in most boxed macaroni and cheese, Yellow Dye 6 and other coloring agents are also found in soda, sports drinks and certain cakes. The use of artificial dyes in food has increased five-fold since 1955, according to the Caltons.

Blue Dye 1 (Coloring Agent) -- Blue Dye 1 frequently appears in candy and is being dropped by many European countries over a possible link to ADHD and other behavior disorders in children.

Blue Dye 2 (Coloring Agent) -- Pet food and some cheeses contain Blue Dye 2 and other artificial coloring agents. Most of these are made from coal tar, which is also used to seal-coat industrial floors and kill off lice in head lice shampoos, according to the Caltons.

Olestra (aka Olean) -- Found in fat-free potato chips, the fat substitute Olestra depletes fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoids and is banned in the U.K. and Canada. It can also cause some nasty side effects, like diarrhea.

Brominated Vegetable Oil -- Banned in Japan and the European Union, brominated vegetable oil has long been used in the U.S. as an additive in some sports drinks and citrus-flavored sodas like Mountain Dew, Squirt and Fresca. It prevents the flavoring from separating and floating to the top of beverages, but may also lead to thyroid issues. Its main ingredient, bromine, is a poisonous chemical.

Potassium Bromate -- Also known as brominated flour, potassium bromate is found in some wraps, rolls, flatbreads, bread crumbs and bagel chips. It's used to strengthen dough and lessen baking times. However, it's also made with the same toxic chemical found in bromine and has been banned in Canada, Nigeria, Brazil, Peru, China, Sri Lanka and the European Union over possible kidney and nervous system disorders as well as gastrointestinal discomfort. 

Azodicarbonamide -- American food processors use this chemical to instantly bleach flour for use in some frozen dinners, breads, boxed pasta mixes and packaged baked goods. In Singapore, you can be fined nearly a half million dollars and imprisoned for up to 15 years for using this chemical that's been linked to asthma. It's primarily used in foamed plastics, like yoga mats and sneaker soles, according to the Caltons.

BHA (Food Preservative) -- Found in everything from meat to cereal and gum, BHA is a waxy solid made from petroleum to prevent food from going bad. The U.S. National Institute of Health has labeled it a cancer-causing agent, although only California currently recognizes that report.

BHT (Food Preservative) -- Also used to prevent fats in foods like nut mixes from becoming rancid, BHT is also used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, jet fuels, rubber, petroleum products, electrical transformer oil and embalming fluid. Many European countries have found the additive questionable enough to ban it from their food supply.

rBGH (Synthetic Hormone) -- Found in some milk and other dairy products, farmers inject their dairy cattle with hormones like rBGH to boost milk production by about 10 percent, according to the Caltons. This synthetic hormone is banned in Canada and the European Union and has been banned by many U.S. dairy farmers, but is still licensed by the FDA and Department of Agriculture. Cows injected with the hormone are more prone to health problems like lameness and reproductive problems.

rBST (Synthetic Hormone) -- Another hormone injected in dairy cows to boost milk production, rBST is also banned in Canada and the European Union for similar reasons. Organic dairy producers claim their are safer ways to increase milk production and question its safety.

Arsenic -- The FDA permits arsenic in chicken feed to promote growth boost pigmentation in poultry meat. However, the European Union has outlawed its use since 1999, according to the Caltons, and the Environmental Protection Agency classifies inorganic arsenic as a "human carcinogen." 

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