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5 Foods We Eat Every Day That Are Banned in Other Countries

Getty Images / Paula Bronstein

This week, apples became the latest food from America to be banned in Europe.  The European Food Safety Authority says levels of DPA, a chemical that could break down into dangerous carcinogens, are just too high.  The EPA allows up to 100 times the amount of DPAs that are prohibited in Europe.  Sadly, apples aren’t the only American food items that are banned around the world. Here’s a list of 5 more foods you might not have realized are seen as too dangerous for the rest of the world to eat:

American Meat
There is a drug commonly used in raising American cattle, pigs and livestock called Tactopamine that has been banned in 160 countries including most of Europe, China and Russia.  Ractopamin is an asthma drug that was found to make animals more muscular, and reduce the amount of fat in meat.  Unfortunately,some of the drug remains in the meat you buy.  Ractopamin may affect your heart, cause hyperactivity and trigger behavioral changes.  The drug has been linked to an abundance of deadly issues with animals.  Unfortunately, the US doesn’t even test for it, so you have no way of knowing if it’s in your dinner.

Rubber Bread
You may have heard about the scandalous news that broke this winter about chemicals found in bread used at Subway Sandwich shops.  Well, Subway isn’t alone. The chemical is called Potassium Bromate, and it’s used in pretty much every piece of bread you eat at a restaurant because it helps keep the dough more “elastic” … that’s probably why it’s also an ingredient used to make yoga mats.  This chemical is banned in China, Canada and Europe because it’s been linked to all sorts of issues with kidneys, nervous systems, thyroids and even cancer.

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
The whole world loves Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, however… the United States is the only country that uses a special recipe that includes yellow dye 5 and yellow dye 6 which may be dangerous to kids’ health.  Other countries forbid the dyes, so Kraft uses natural beta carotene and paprika to create the same color.  After this story went viral last year, Kraft has announced that they will be changing the recipe for some new versions of their Mac and Cheese, but the dye will remain for people who purchase the original recipe.  Kraft isn’t the only culprit, however. Food dyes that are banned in most other countries are commonly used in thousands of US food products, mostly aimed at young children.

Flame Retardant Soda
If you enjoy sports drinks and citrus flavored sodas, you’re most likely drinking Brominated Vegetable Oil.  BVO was originally developed as a flame retardant chemical, but is now widely used as an emulsifier that prevents beverages from separating.  The main ingredient in BVO is bromine, which is a corrosive and toxic chemical that can cause birth defects, organ damage, schizophrenia, growth issues and other physical ailments.  It’s been banned in over 100 other countries.

Milk
You’ve probably heard about rBGH, or synthetic growth hormones.  These hormones are widely used in the dairy industry to increase milk production.  RBGH is banned in Europe, Australia, Canada and many other countries because it poses a risk for several types of cancer, including breast cancer and prostate cancer.  Cows injected with rBGH suffer adverse reactions that are treated with increased antibiotics, which also find their way into our milk.  For this reason, US milk is internationally banned.

For more information on other foods we eat every day that are illegal to serve in other countries, check out this article.  Or this one.

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