Food additives banned abroad but eaten in US
Americans consume many chemicals that are illegal elsewhere. Given the money involved, that's unlikely to change anytime soon.
What do Mountain Dew, Hungry Man frozen dinners, Chex Mix and Froot Loops (pictured) have in common? They're all packaged food products that include some ingredients that have been banned outside the U.S.
PepsiCo's (PEP) Mountain Dew, for example, includes brominated vegetable oil, which is banned in more than 100 countries, reports the Daily Mail, which cites a book called "Rich Food, Poor Food" that includes a list of American staples made with ingredients outlawed in other countries.
Some Pinnacle Foods' (PF) Hungry Man frozen dinners include azodicarbonamide, a chemical used to make bleach and rubber yoga mats, the Mail notes. The chemical has been banned in Australia, the U.K. and many European countries.
As for General Mills' (GIS) traditional Chex Mix, it includes butylated hydroxytoluene, or BHT. It's made from petroleum and has been banned in Japan, the U.K. and other countries. And Kellogg's (K) Froot Loops includes Yellow 6 food coloring, which the book notes is banned in some countries.
Despite calls for change, consumers who are concerned about such ingredients are fighting huge industries that may have little incentive to tinker with their formulas. Sales of sodas such as Mountain Dew totaled $28.8 billion last year.
Brominated vegetable oil prompted a food fight last year after a 16-year-old high school student started a petition to have the ingredient removed from PepsiCo's Gatorade. The drink maker earlier this year said it would use an alternative. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says brominated vegetable oil is safe, critics contend it's potentially harmful to humans.
Although Gatorade changed its formula, other soft drinks still contain brominated vegetable oil, including Squirt and Fresca, the Daily Mail notes.
One of the most common additives banned outside the U.S. but used in American foods is coloring. That became an issue earlier this year when two food bloggers questioned the use of Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 in Kraft (KRFT) Macaroni & Cheese, which sells the product without those dyes outside the U.S.
Kraft defended its record, noting its food products follow the FDA's regulations. It also offers varieties that don't include the dyes, such as Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Organic White Cheddar.
The outcry against such additives may be giving a boost to the organic food industry, which reached $26.7 billion in sales in 2010, up from just $1 billion in 1990, according to the Organic Trade Association.
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
Food and Drug Administration should be separate entities esp in this country where processed food is making people sick. oh but here come the drug companys to save the day making billions.. Conflict of interest perhaps?
Looking for answers, all you have to do is following the money.
How many super moms take Botox in their lips, have chemical peels, have breast implants, have
tattoos and now they worry about something in their food????????????? Give me a break///////
If your so worried about food just try growing some yourself and see how long it will take for you
to starve to death////////////
It makes it so much easier on me, giving up red meat, cow dairy products, and, finally grains...reading of the companies...huge companies...blithely poisoning one and all for profit...at least those of us that allow it by continuing to spend money on products...
Twinkie, anyone? Line another CEO's pocket and the fat is on You!
Just because something is banned in other countries doesn't mean it is unsafe, especially at the levels used in food. Some silly decisions have been made in banning colorants and sweeteners.
These articles are written to boost the organic food industry, but if you read studies, organic foods are not all safer.
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