5 American Food Ingredients Banned In Other Countries – Eat This Not That

You might assume that everything in the foods you buy at the grocery store is safe to eat, but it turns out that a closer look at the ingredients in your groceries might reveal some nasty surprises.

Some ingredients are currently used in commercial foods in the United States, but have been banned in other countries for various reasons. Bess Berger, women’s health dietitian and owner of Feeding by Bessrevealed that the United States may not have the strictest ingredient regulations.

“Many Americans don’t realize that the bar for what we accept as food, or what we generally consider safe, is lower than the standard in very many countries.”

This includes the following ingredients that you may not necessarily want to consume on a regular basis.

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Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) “is a common additive in citrus sodas, such as Mountain Dew,” says Berger. Indeed, BVO is “sometimes used to prevent citrus flavor from separating in sodas and other beverages,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

At the same time, BVO “contains bromine which may be linked to skin irritations, headaches, memory loss and balance disorders,” Berger points out while noting that Europe, the India and Japan have all banned the questionable ingredient. Although not illegal to use in the United States, PepsiCo Inc has agreed to stop adding BVO to its Gatorade drinks after a Mississippi teenager started a petition to encourage the company to drop the potentially worrying substance, for Reuters.

ruffled potato chips

If you were around and snacked in the 90s, you might have heard that certain items such as “diet” versions of Pringles, Ruffles and Doritos were linked to various unfortunate health issues like cramps, diarrhea and “loose stools”. “, or what was then called a “faecal emergency” and “anal leakage”, according to Mental Floss.

The source of the problem was apparently olestra, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in early 1996. Intended for use as a grease replacement in calorie-free, fat-free and cholesterol-free foodsolestra has been shown to cause adverse side effects, which is why it is not used in Canada and the European Union, explains Izma Almasar, nutritionist at Honest Brand Reviews.

White bread

An additive that is used for cooking, potassium bromate is something you could find in your bread. A review found in the scientific journal food chemistry further explains that it is “an oxidizing agent and one of the best and cheapest dough improvers in the baking industry”. It is also an additive that causes cancer in rodents. According to data published by the journal Environmental Health Perspectivespotassium bromate “is carcinogenic in rats and nephrotoxic in man and laboratory animals when administered orally”.

Although potassium bromate is still used in the United States, Almasar notes that it is banned in Canada, the European Union and China. Live Science points out that it is also not used in Brazil or other countries.


While butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) have complicated names, they are simply synthetic antioxidants used as food preservatives. BHA is found in processed foods and beverages such as meat, cereals, chips, butter, and beer, and BHT is used in meat and snacks as well as gum, baked foods, and dehydrated foods, Very well adjusted.

Although BHA and BHT are widely used in the United States, they are known to cause allergic reactions. BHA too”interferes with hormonal function“, while BHT is toxic to rodents, “may act as a tumor promoter in certain situations” and has “effects[ed] in reproductive disorders [a]effects.” Naturally, both are banned in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, as well as Europe, according to Long live.

Fortunately for those in the United States who might be concerned about consuming foods containing BHA or BHT, Almasar says both are “considered safe for use in foods when the total antioxidant content is less than 0. .02”.


There are a wide variety of colorings used to make our foods more colorful and appealing. However, while the United States allows dyes such as Yellow #6 and Red #40 to be used in products that may end up on your table, Berger says many European countries do not allow this. artificial coloring in their food.

“For example, if you buy M&M’s in Europe, they are colored with natural food coloring. The same goes for Skittles. Concretely, Red 40, Blue 1, Yellow 5, Yellow 6 are prohibited” , she explains. “Additionally, these colorants are common in sodas and sports drinks, and icing.”

Why are they banned in Europe? According to Berger, “these food colorings are linked to hyperactivity and inattention in children.”

To learn more about what your food might contain, be sure to read 25 Horrible Ingredients Everyone Still Uses, But Shouldn’t!

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