8 Foods Banned in Other Countries but Allowed in The United States

The food industry often used certain chemical in order to enhance the taste of the food, the nutrition, or the quality of the food in general as mentioned List of Food Preservatives. Some of the chemicals are safe while the other are not. The government is responsible to regulate the access of chemical and they are the one who determine whether a chemical is safe or not.

However, not all countries are in one voice when it comes to prohibiting food additives, especially in United States. The organization responsible for regulating food additives in United States, FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is allowing certain chemicals in food that are banned in other countries.

Here is the list of foods banned in other countries but allowed in the United States:

  1. Arsenic-Laced Chicken

The organic arsenic is utilized in chicken industry and is allowed by FDA. Organic arsenic is the type of arsenic that occurs naturally. Unlike the inorganic arsenic, the toxicity of the organic arsenic is not as deadly. Arsenic is used to make the chicken grows faster and for the meat to look pinker.

However, arsenic use in chicken industry has been banned in many countries. It is because even organic arsenic can turn into inorganic arsenic. If that is the case, the chemical is carcinogen and long-term consumption of it can cause cancer.

  1. Bromated Flour in Bread

Bromated flour is still used as ingredients in bread and baked goods in United States. The bromated flour contains potassium bromide. The potassium bromide functions as baking enhancer for the baked goods to be cooked well. United States is the home for this chemical and has been using it for years.

Outside United States, potassium bromide is prohibited or severely restricted. The study found the chemical to be toxic. It can cause kidney problem, thyroid damage, nervous damage, and gastrointestinal problem. Hence, this food additive is banned in other countries just like in the list of toxic chemical banned or severely restricted in P.R.C but allowed in the United States.

  1. Olestra

Chips and fries are often added with olestra as a substitute to the fat ingredients contained in the potato or oil. It is deemed to be a fat-free and more healthy to consume. Olestra or Olean is manufactured by Procter & Gamble and has been used as food additive in fast food restaurant.

The olestra, however, is found to be not as healthy as the manufacturer intended it to be. The chemical can cause diarrhea, leaky bowels, and other digestion problem. It is also interfere with the absorption of vitamin to be body, making it banned food additives in many countries, yet still allowed in United States.

  1. BHA and BHT Foods

Food like cereal, nut, bread, meat, and french fries in United States often contain BHA and BHT. The two chemicals are used as preservatives in food to avoid it getting unpleasant odor and also to make it last longer. These preservatives are stil allowed and are only under surveillance in United States.

The BHA and BHT are suspected to be a carcinogen to the body. Accumulation in the body can cause several serious health problems leading to cancer and even death. FDA can only ban the chemicals only if sufficient data and case are found.  

  1. Milk and Dairy Products with Synthetic Hormone

What’s more foods banned in other countries but allowed in the United States? Cows are often injected with synthetic hormone to be more productive in their milk production and growth. The milk later is processed into processed milk or dairy products such as cheese, butter, and chocolate. The synthetic hormone is widely used in farming industry or poultry in United States.

However, since it is a synthetic made chemical and the cow’s milk is not from natural process, there are health consequences such as prostrate and breast cancer. It is also dangerous for animals if it is injected in the long run. Thus, it has been banned in many countries.

  1. Whitened Bread Flour

The other country usually wait for the making dough process or used the best flour in order for the bread to have white color to suggest good quality. However, bread industry in United States often uses whitener that does not need time to take on, which is Azodicarbonamide. Azodicarbonamide is a whitener that can whiten the flour before it is made for bread.

Studies in other countries found the chemical to be hazardous to human’s health. It can cause respiration problem such as asthma. In other countries, anyone who uses this chemical illegaly will be sentenced or have to pay penalty fee. 

  1. Glossy Fruits

Fruits that appear glossy often are seen as more fresh and of better quality. However, it is not a always the reality. There is a chemical that is often used in United States to give glossy sheen. It is called Diphenylamine. Diphenylamine can create glossy effect to fruit such as apple, grape, baby food, and pears.

Study found the chemical to be hazardous to human’s health. It can cause cancer in long-term use. The chemical is also often used as chemicals found in pesticide but later is banned because of the toxicity ithas. However, in United States, the chemical is still approved.

  1. Meat with Ractopamine

To enhance the quality or to make the meat looks redder, ractopamine is often used in poultry. Ractopamine is a chemical that can reduce the fat contained in meat. It was originally for a good cause for the meat to be less fatty and more healthy. Ractopamine is used to create fat free meat.

Yet it does not serve the purpose of making the body healthier as further study found ractopamine to be dangerous and may cause cancer and organ dysfunction.

Because of FDA rule about only prohibiting chemical that shows obvious effect to human,many of the chemicals circulating in industry are allowed. Whereas in other countries, the use of these chemicals are prohibited or severely restricted. There is a penalty in other countries as well. That is all about the foods banned in other countries but allowed in United States.

Also read: List of Food Ingredients Banned in Europe are Revealed