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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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Foods we eat that are banned by many other countries

December 18th, 2013 · 7 Comments · Health

Okay, I have to out myself for occasionally clicking on those AARP emails that appear regularly in my inbox. This one almost demanded that I click through to it (“8 Foods We Eat That Other Countries Ban“).

The information is drawn from “Rich Food, Poor Food,” a new book by Jayson Calton and Mira Carlton.

Here’s the intro to the AARP blog post.

Here’s just one example: Fake coloring that gives those eerie bright hues to boxed mac and cheese, breakfast cereal, candy and soft drinks. Linked to behavioral changes in children, allergies, migraines and possibly cancer, those dyes are banned in several countries plus the United Kingdom — but not in the United States.

In March, two mothers petitioned Kraft to use safer, natural coloring in their mac and cheese products, as the company does in other countries where the dyes are illegal. Kraft said no.

Or how about brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, that’s added to citrus-flavored soda (like Mountain Dew) and sports drinks to make the artificial colors stick to the liquid. BVO contains bromine, which is used as a flame-retardant and has been linked to neurological problems and interference with thyroid hormones.

BVO has been banned in all European Union countries, as well as India and Japan, yet it’s in U.S. products. In January, PepsiCo announced it would no longer use the additive in Gatorade, after consumers complained, but would leave it in Mountain Dew.

I’m not a fanatic about organics and chemicals in food, but these chemicals seem unnecessary and potentially harmful. Is this an area where more regulation is necessary?

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7 Comments so far ↓

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  • Natalie

    “Is this an area where more regulation is necessary?” My preference would be more education. If more consumers started complaining and stopped buying Mt. Dew, you can bet they’d change things.

    As for Kraft macaroni and cheese, homemade is much better.

  • Patty

    The mothers should call for a nation wide ban on Kraft Food Products and any other harmful food products. It is obvious that the Government FDA will not protect citizens.

  • jb

    We eat very few processed foods, but it scares me to think what we DO eat when I read things like this. My son LOVED Mac and Cheese when he was a kid and I fixed it…thankfully he’s a productive adult but I dare say I was just one more uninformed and uninvolved mom who would have been horrified to think I damaged my own child. Wow if people knew!

  • jb

    By the way our processed foods left my shelves while our 43 year old son was still in high school after I found out what was in hotdogs…lol…I was a slow learner.

  • Natalie

    An article in today’s SA noted that food makers are cutting back on some “disputed ingredients,” including dyes. The article also pointed to the power of the internet and the impact consumers have beyond not buying certain products.

  • Patty

    Walk into Safeway or any supermarket and note how much of their offering is processed food and harmful!

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