Foods Banned in Other Countries


10 Common Foods Eaten in the United States that are Banned Elsewhere in the World

Boxed Macaroni and Cheese

While macaroni and cheese itself is fine, the boxed U.S. varieties that are routinely fed to our children usually contain the dyes, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6. Both have been  linked to health issues such as asthma, migraines, skin rashes and adrenal tumors in lab animals. The use of these dyes in food products is banned in Norway and Austria and requires a warning label in the UK. Stick to organic brands or, even better, make your own from scratch.

Asthma, migraines, skin rashes, tumors

Farm Raised Salmon

You know that bright reddish-pink hue associated with fresh, natural, salmon? If your salmon was farm raised, this color comes from synthetic astaxanthin – made from petrochemicals – which has not been approved for human consumption. Farmed Salmon fed these chemicals are banned in both Australia and New Zealand.  While this color is naturally occurring in the wild from a diet high in carotenoid anti-oxidants, farm raise salmon are raised on a diet of genetically modified grains, antibiotics and other drugs and chemicals. This results in the salmon having an unappetizing grayish flesh. Also, farm raised fish are found to have much higher concentrations of PCBs, dioxins, dieldrin, and toxaphene than their wild caught counterparts. Stick with wild salmon to maximize your health benefits.

Cancer, low testosterone, skin lesions, reduced Immune function, impaired reproductive function, Parkinson’s, nervous system damage

Dairy Products Containing rBGH and rBST

The hormones rBGH and rBST are routinely injected into U.S. dairy cows to increase production, but are banned in at least 30 other countries due the potential dangers to human health. Dairy products from these animals contains elevated levels of hormones such as BST, and IGF1. It has also been linked to breast, colorectal and other digestive tract cancers. This is another place where you are better off buying organic.

Impaired reproductive function, breast cancer, digestive tract cancer

The Preservative BHA and BHT

Both BHA and BHT are banned in parts of the European Union and Japan. BHA is known to cause cancer in lab animals and “is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. BHT can cause organ system toxicity and falls in the “caution” column of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. These chemicals are widely used in food products such as potato chips, lard, butter, cereal, instant mashed potatoes, preserved meat, beer, baked goods, dry beverage and dessert mixes, chewing gum, and a host of other foods. One more reason to stay out of the center aisles of your grocery store.

Organ toxicity, cancer

Blue #1 and Blue #2 Food Coloring

Found in many U.S. candies, cereals, breakfast bars, and sports drinks,  the dyes blue #1 and blue #2 have been linked to hyperactivity in children and tumors in lab animals. James Huff, an associate at the National Toxicology Program commented, “Some dyes have caused cancers in animals, contain cancer-causing contaminants, or have been inadequately tested for cancer or other problems. Their continued use presents unnecessary risks to humans, especially young children. It’s disappointing that the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] has not addressed the toxic threat posed by food dyes.”

Cancer, hyperactivity

Flame Retardant Drinks

Originally patented by chemical companies as a flame retardant, brominated vegetable oil, is soy or corn oil bonded with the element bromine. It is added to sodas such as Mountain Dew and sports drinks such as Gatorade to prevent the citrus flavoring from separating and floating to the surface. But bromine has also been shown to bioaccumulate in human tissue and breast milk and has been shown to alter the central nervous and endocrine systems, causing skin rashes, acne, iodine deficiency, loss of appetite, fatigue, reproductive problems, and cardiac arrhythmias. Brominated vegetable oil is banned both in Europe and Japan. It is best to avoid products containing this chemical on the food label.

Impaired endocrine function, nervous system damage, acne, skin rashes, iodine deficiency, fatigue, reproductive problems, cardiac arrhythmias

Bread Made with Potassium Bromate

We Americans love our bread, but it is often made with the dangerous chemical, potassium bromate. Potassium bromate is a powerful oxidizing agent that bleaches dough, and enhances its elasticity giving bread a lovely, fluffy white appearance. However, Bromate is considered a category 2B (possibly carcinogenic to humans) carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Also studies have linked potassium bromate to kidney and nervous system damage, thyroid problems, and gastrointestinal discomfort.

Potassium bromate has been banned from use in food products in the European Union, Canada, Nigeria, Brazil, China, South Korea, Peru and some other countries.

Cancer, kidney and nervous system damage, thyroid problems, gastrointestinal discomfort

Genetically Engineered Papaya

While naturally grown papaya is one of the healthiest foods on the planet, most Hawaiian papaya is genetically engineered to be ringspot virus-resistant. But research shows animals fed genetically engineered foods like corn and soy can suffer a host of maladies including intestinal damage, multiple-organ damage, massive tumors, birth defects, premature death and/or nearly complete sterility by the third generation. At the time of this writing, Hawaii is looking at a bill to ban GMO papayas.

Intestinal damage, multiple-organ damage, massive tumors, birth defects, premature death, sterility

Arsenic in Chicken

Much of the chicken available in stores in the United States is fed animal feed containing arsenic. This is to make the animals grow more quickly and for the meat to look pinker and fresher. The FDA says it’s ok because it’s an organic, supposedly less toxic, arsenic than the non-organic version – a known carcinogen.  But studies now show that organic arsenic can turn into inorganic arsenic when digested. This inorganic arsenic is often found in high levels in chicken from the grocery store. These additives have never been approved for use in animal feed in Europe.

Bladder and kidney cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological damage, nerve damage

Chicken Washed in Chlorine

It is a common practice in the U.S. to give raw chickens a chlorine bath in order to disinfect them. Chlorine is a known carcinogen. A study carried out in Hartford, Connecticut, found that women with breast cancer have 50% to 60% higher levels of chlorination byproducts accumulated in their breast tissue than women without breast cancer. Russia and the European Union have prohibited the use of chlorine in the treatment of poultry products for human consumption and will no longer import chicken treated in this manner. That is enough evidence for me to stop purchasing chlorine rinsed chicken.

Cancer, birth defects




One thought on “Foods Banned in Other Countries

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