When it comes to allowing products and chemicals in food, the United States has very different rules versus other countries in the world. While several countries have banned these toxic chemicals, they are still LEGAL in the United States of America.
While these highly toxic chemicals (and others not listed in this blog) are still legal in America, there are several companies that have taken it upon themselves to eliminate some of these chemicals from their own products. For example: Panera Bread issued a public wide statement they would no longer use artificial additives in their products by the end of 2016. The healthcare facility company Kaiser Permanente stated all new furniture would be free of flame retardants (remember the chemical BVO?). Some other major companies that have stopped using certain chemicals in their products that are not banned by the U.S. government are: Target, Walmart, Apple (as in computer software, not the fruit), Walgreens to name just a few companies.
These are some of the most common chemicals still legal in America that you may want to look for in the ingredients section of your food items while grocery shopping:
rBGH and rBST are synthetic growth hormones. The chemical is injected into cows to increase their production of milk. If you’ve heard of the corporation Monsanto and all the controversy surrounding GMO vs NON-GMO food products, labeling, etc. then you now know who developed this synthetic growth hormone. It is banned in both Europe and Canada.
Food Dyes such as Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40 and Blue 2, are all used to make foods look better, brighter, more appealing and appetizing. Boxed macaroni and cheese and cheddar flavored crackers as well as Jell-O and various kids’ cereals all contain one or more of these colored food dyes.
Azodicarbonamide (ADA) is a carcinogenic food whitening agent in breads…and in some articles online also used in yoga mats to help keep them light and strong. Yes, you read that correctly: YOGA MATS.
Arsenic is found in our drinking water, in our soil that absorbs the water which in turn transfers to the plants grown in that soil. Naturally, the contaminated water is also fed to all animals that are slaughtered for food consumption such as pigs, cows, fish, chickens, etc. The WHO lists arsenic as one of the top 10 chemicals to be most concerning but it is STILL LEGAL.
Olestra The ‘Fat Free Chips’ (by Proctor & Gamble) labeled as calorie & cholesterol free. This high carbohydrate food developed health factors that came out to the public. To counter this lash back the company renamed their product ‘Olean’. It is more dangerous to the body than carbs and calories as it blocks the body from absorbing the essential vitamins it needs which are Vitamins A, B, D, K. This product results in side effects to the digestive system such as diarrhea, leaky bowels, cramps, excessive bloating.
Brominated Vegetable Oil (also called BVO) is found in soda pop (soft drinks). This chemical is a mixture of plant-derived triglycerides that comes from vegetable oil. It is used to keep the citrus flavoring from separating If you’re a lover of Mountain Dew, Squirt, Gatorade Orange, Fanta Orange, Powerade Strawberry Lemonade and some other citrus soft drinks, be aware you are consuming this toxic chemical every time you take a sip. Coke and Pepsi soft drinks were made the decision to stop using this chemical in their products back in 2014 and use other ‘natural’ ingredients. Incidentally, BVO is also a flame retardant chemical.
Formaldehyde can be found in various personal care and cosmetic products. This chemical l is banned from these same products in Japan and Sweden and in Europe.
These are some foods that are legal in America but banned in other countries:
Farm Raised Salmon. Did you mouth just drop open in shock? Are your taste buds crying out in denial? You’re not alone as many salmon lovers do not pay attention to the difference between farm raised vs wild caught salmon. Not only are they given grains to eat, which is NOT their normal diet, they are also given large quantities of antibiotics and other chemicals to keep them ‘healthy looking’. If you have ever seen farm raised salmon in person they are not the beautiful vibrant pinkish-reddish coloring you see in all the National Geographic shows and articles of wild salmon; they are an unhealthy and ugly greyish coloring when raised in a salmon fish farm. Wild salmon gets its bright pinkish-red color from natural carotenoids they ingest during their natural feeding in the wild. While these farm-raised fish are legal in the United States, they are banned in Russian and Australia. When you’re shopping, look for Alaskan Salmon or Sockeye Salmon as they are both types of salmon that are not allowed to be farmed, even here in the United States. Also, you can look for ‘wild caught’ on the labeling as well. I, personally, will ask the waiter at whatever restaurant I’m at who has salmon on their menu if it is wild caught Alaskan or Sockeye salmon or farm raised salmon. Unfortunately, in general, most restaurants use farm raised salmon today.
Ractopamine is used for livestock. Its function is to reduce the fat content of the meat in the animal (cows, pigs, poultry). In an article by Dr. Mercola, he states that Ractopamine is currently used in about 45 percent of US pigs, 30 percent of ration-fed cattle. Turkeys are also pumped full of this chemical, thought a specific percentage is not available at this time. Dr. Mercola states that up to 20 percent of ractopamine remains in the meat you buy from the grocery stores. Yikes! That’s almost enough to make me, personally, want to go vegetarian…. almost.
Rice Krispies Most of the cereals in US cereals are banned in other countries because they contain the preservative Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) and/or Butylated Hydroxy anisole (BHA). These toxic chemicals are banned in Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Europe because they are carcinogenetic.
Papaya Most papaya grown and sold today is mostly genetically engineered to be resistant to the ringspot virus. When you hear or see the words “genetically engineered’ and it pertains to any food item, you can rest assures it comes from Monsanto. You may be asking yourself, what exactly is ringspot virus? According to an article authored by Dennis Gonsalves (http://www.extento.hawaii.edu/kbase/crop/type/papring.htm) papaya ringspot is one of the most destructive diseases of papaya and occurs in nearly every region where papaya is grown except for Africa. It is particularly severe in areas of Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, and the southern region of The People’s Republic of China. Additionally, the disease is widespread in the Caribbean islands and South America, and is found in the papaya growing areas of the U.S., including Florida, Hawaii, and Texas”.
Milk Europe has banned milk that contains the growth hormone rBGH and rBST. Most conventionally raised (non-organic) cows in the US are given this drug. When you go shopping for milk and make the decision to no longer have milk with rBGH and rBST, look for the labels that say the milk is organic or says, “does not contain rBGH”.
Chicken (certain brands) Europe alone has a long-standing ban on chicken that has been washed in chlorine, which would be most chicken, unfortunately. Many chicken companies in the US use chlorinated water baths, or rinses, and mists as an antimicrobial treatment due to their very cramped, highly unclean conditions. Most of these companies have their chickens literally STUFFED inside containers where they stand, eat, and sleep in their own feces, thus making their living environment contaminated with pathogens. Some chickens are “water chilled,” which means they are submerged in a chlorine bath. Others are “air-chilled” which means they could have been misted with chlorine.