Originally published March 5 2015
FDA lets corporations add harmful chemicals to food despite bans in Europe
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) There are a number of harmful chemicals allowed in American food by the Food and Drug Administration, even though they are banned for use in Europe and elsewhere.
As noted by the Today show, in a post on the program's website, some of the substances are called BVOs and rBSTs, and they litter American foods.
The former -- a controversial chemical known as "brominated vegetable oil" -- has been included in Coca-Cola's beverages, though the company announced recently that it was dropping it from all of its drinks. The decision came amid concerns that the ingredient is used as a flame retardant and is not approved for consumption in either the European Union or Japan. In addition to Coke's decision, the Pepsi company announced that it, too, would remove the ingredient from its Gatorade drinks.
In a statement, Coke told the Today show, "All of our beverages, including those with BVO, are safe and always have been -- and comply with all regulations in the countries where they are sold..."
Such denials prompt legitimate questions, such as, if the ingredient is so safe and so in compliance, then why remove it?
As the Today show report noted:
When it comes to banning food ingredients, not only science, but public opinion, animal welfare, and politics often weigh in on the decision-making. So a "food ban" in some parts of the globe for certain foods doesn't automatically make a food unsafe to eat.
Even before Coke's decision, there's been a lot of talk about "banned" food ingredients in other countries that are used in foods produced in the U.S.
The Today show report further noted that population data does not always translate to the individual. Also, for all of the following ingredients, there are options available for you to completely avoid them if that's what you choose to do (and you should).
The following are six common ingredients that are actually banned in other countries but okay for use in the United States:
1. Brominated vegetable oil (BVOs) - These are found in some citrus-flavored sodas and sugary drinks, used as an emulsifier to keep the citrus and other flavors and ingredients well-mixed in solution.
You can avoid consuming these by examining ingredients labels on the back of all citrus-flavored drinks. The Coca-Cola Company has said it will be removing BVOs from its Powerade line of drinks.
2. Food colorings/dyes (Blue #1 and #2, Yellow #5 and #6, Red #40) - These are found in many food items including candies, drinks, cereals, salad dressings and most processed foods. You can avoid these by reading package labels to see if they include any added artificial colors or dyes, or by purchasing organically grown products, or by using products containing vegetable colorings only.
3. Bovine growth hormone (rBST) - This is found in about one-quarter of all milk and dairy foods that are produced in the U.S. To avoid consuming this harmful substance, look for "no added hormones" on the product label. You should know that all milk naturally contains growth hormone, and that includes human milk, but organic milk is FDA-regulated to be added-hormone-free. But here the case seems to be more concerned about animal welfare, not food safety, the Today report noted.
4. Potassium bromate - This ingredient is found in some rolls, pizza dough and breads. If you wish to avoid it, for home use choose flours that do not contain potassium bromate; otherwise, consult labeling on packaged breads and frozen doughs. If you're in a restaurant, you can ask the owner what type of flour he/she uses.
5. BHA/BHT - This is also found in some rolls and breads and acts as a preservative. To avoid it, simply consult packaging labels. You can also, of course, make your own organic bread at home free of BHA/BHT ingredients.
6. GMO or genetically modified organisms - These are found everywhere (and yet the FDA refuses to require GMO labeling of foods). You can avoid them by purchasing organic foods or other products certified to be "non-GMO."
In the meantime, the Food Babe has launched a petition drive to clean up breakfast cereals and force companies to drop harmful chemical ingredients like BHT. Click the link to sign the online petition.
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