(NaturalNews) The FDA keeps a list of over 700 food additives that are generally recognized as safe, or GRAS. These additives serve quite a variety of purposes, including preserving food, adding sweetness, color, texture or flavor, controlling pH, anticaking, stabling, leveling and firming, and the list goes on. The FDA does not, however, advertise the fact that many of these additive have never been tested. To make matters worse, the agency allows the use of substances that are known to be harmful. How is this possible?
According to the FDA, the additives that have been proven to be toxic are only used at a "level of 1/100th of the amount that is considered harmful." Does that make you feel any better? It shouldn't, considering that they've approved the use of several food additives - that at the time were GRAS - that were later banned, because they were found to be extremely toxic. As an example, cyclamate was a popular artificial sweetener used in the 50s and 60s that was later banned after it was linked to cancer.
Even assuming that these chemicals are safe at the "1/100" level that the FDA allows, there is one very important aspect not accounted for. People are not exposed to a single chemical at a time; we are exposed to many.
According to the Body Burden website, "Scientists estimate that everyone alive today carries within his or her body at least 700 contaminants, most of which have not been well studied." In addition, they note that "no one is ever exposed to a single chemical, but to a chemical soup, the ingredients of which may interact to cause unpredictable health effects."
16 of the most dangerous food additives
1. Artificial sweeteners - Popular varieties include aspartame and saccharin; aspartame is a neurotoxin linked to lower IQ, brain tumors, MS, fatigue and fibromyalgia; saccharin is linked to weight gain and bladder tumors in rats.
2. Potassium bromate - Increases volume in baked goods; known to cause cancer in animals; small amount may be dangerous to humans; banned in Europe, Canada and China.
3. Olestra - Fat substitute; causes diarrhea and interferes with the body's ability to absorb vital nutrients; banned in the UK and Canada.
4. Brominated vegetable oil - Helps retains flavor in soda; accumulates in the body and causes memory and nerve problems; banned in 100 countries
5. Caramel coloring - Coloring agent; sometimes made with ammonia; classified as "known to cause cancer" in California.
6. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) - Flavor enhancer; linked to headaches, nausea and obesity.
7. High fructose corn syrup - Sweetener; number one source of calories in the US; raises LDL and contributes to diabetes.
8. Parabens - Used to prevent yeast and mold; may disrupt hormonal balance; linked to lower sperm count and testosterone production in rats; found in breast cancer tissue.
9. Sulfer dioxide - Preservative; destroys vitamins B1 and E; linked to bronchial problems.
10. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT) - Preservatives; form cancer-causing compounds once inside the body; banned in parts of Europe and Japan.
11. Sodium nitrate/sodium nitrite - Preservatives; highly carcinogenic once inside the body; particularly toxic to the liver and pancreas.
12. Sodium sulfite - Preservative; linked to asthma, headaches, breathing problems and rashes.
13. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil - Multipurpose preservative and solidifying agent; lowers good cholesterol, increases bad cholesterol and the risk for heart attack, stroke and diabetes.
14. Azodicarbonamide - Flour bleaching agent; linked to asthma; banned in Australia, the U.K. and Europe.
15. Food dyes - Varieties include Blue #1 and #2, Red #3 and #40 and Yellow #6; linked to behavioral problems and lower IQ in children and cancer in animal studies
16. Indirect food additives - Substances not directly added to food that still end up in the final product; plastics and other packaging that come into contact with food; substances in animal feed including pesticides, antibiotics and heavy metals (including arsenic) and synthetic hormones injected into animals.