The fact that some of the foods sold and served in America are banned in other countries shouldn’t come as much of a shock. With the amount of artificial coloring, flavoring and preservatives in foods sitting on grocery store shelves and in fast food restaurants, the list of toxic foods to stay away from is growing by the day. If you’re working on becoming more aware of what you’re putting into your body, you’ll want to check out this list of 10 foods that are freely sold in America, but banned in other countries due to health concerns:
1. Farm-raised Salmon
Farmed salmon are raised on an unnatural diet of grains, antibiotics and other drugs, which causes their flesh to turn a gray color. To get rid of the not-so-appetizing color, they’re fed synthetic astaxanthin made from petrochemicals. That’s a mouthful, but the important part is that it has not been approved for human consumption. Farmed salmon that are fed these chemicals are banned in both Australia and New Zealand.
2. Genetically Engineered Papaya
Most Hawaiian papaya — as tasty as it sounds — is now genetically engineered in order to be resistant to ringspot virus. You’ve probably heard about the hype surrounding genetically engineered foods. In animals, they cause intestinal damage, organ damage, tumors, birth defects and premature death. The U.S. has not banned this food, but the European Union has.
3. Ractopamine-tainted Meat
Ractopamine is a drug that increases protein synthesis (it is used to make the animal more muscular), which produces more meat. It is currently used in about 45% of U.S. pigs, 30% of ration-fed cattle, as well as turkeys. It’s banned in an astounding 160 countries across Europe, Russia, mainland China and the Republic of China.
4. Flame Retardant Drinks
Sodas and sports drinks that are citrus-flavored are common in the States, but what most don’t realize is that they contain brominated vegetable oil (BVO), a synthetic chemical which was originally brought to chemical companies as a flame retardant. Bromine is a depressant to the central nervous system, and it’s banned in Europe and Japan.
5. Artificial Colors and Dyes
There are more than 3,000 preservatives, flavorings and colors added to foods in the United States. Research has shown many of these food additives to produce hazardous health effects including birth defects, cancer and behavioral problems. Norway and Austria have banned the use of these harmful food additives.
6. Arsenic-laced Chicken
Arsenic-based drugs are used for animal feed in the U.S. because they make animals grow faster and make their meat appear more pink. The FDA claims the drugs are safe because they are less toxic in the inorganic form — carcinogen. But studies suggest that organic arsenic can transform into inorganic arsenic, and have a harmful effect on the human body, which is why the European Union does not permit arsenic-based drugs to be given to animals that are used for food.
7. Baked Goods with Potassium Bromate
Protassium bromate is used as an additive in breads and baked goods. Studies have linked potassium bromate to kidney and nervous system damage, thyroid problems, gastrointestinal discomfort and even cancer. It’s banned in Canada, China and the European Union.
Created by Procter & Gamble, Olestra (also called Olean), is a calorie- and cholesterol-free fat substitute often used in fat-free snacks. Your chips and french fries could contain Olestra, causing problems such as diarrhea, cramps and leaky bowels. That’s why it’s banned in the United Kingdom and in Canada.
9. BHA and BHT
BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are preservatives that are commonly used in food. BHA has been proven to cause cancer in rats, and could possibly cause cancer in humans. These two harmful preservatives are banned in Japan and parts of the European Union, and the United Kingdom does not allow them to be used in the production of baby food.
10. Milk and Dairy Laced with rBGH
RBGH is a synthetic version of natural bovine somatotropin that is injected into cows to increase milk production. In humans, it can increase risk for cancer by converting normal tissue cells into cancerous ones. rBGH is banned in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, the European Union and Canada.