Tag Archives: Food And Drug Administration

5 Foods Americans Eat that Are Banned Around the World

by The Daily Meal | Shine Food

Synthetic Hormones rBGH & rBSTSynthetic Hormones rBGH & rBSTThe United States government has set several rules and guidelines in place to protect us from eating potentially harmful foods. Several dishes considered real delicacies in other parts of the world, like haggis in Scotland or fugu (puffer fish) in Japan, are banned from the U.S. food market because of potential health risks. But looking at the issue from a reversed angle, there are actually several common foods eaten in America that are banned in other parts of the world.

RELATED: 11 Banned Ingredients We Eat In the U.S.

The shocking truth is that many of our favorite foods, like boxed mac and cheese and yogurt, include ingredients that other countries have established as potentially harmful for health, and therefore are banned. Clearly, mac and cheese on its own isn’t poisonous in any way, but the yellow food colorings #5 and #6 have been shown to cause hypersensitivity in children, and are therefore banned in countries including Norway, Finland, and Australia. For yogurt and other milk products, it is the rBGH and rBST that some countries are concerned with – these growth hormones are banned in several regions including the European Union, Canada, and Japan because of their potentially dangerous impacts on the health of both humans and cows.

RELATED: 10 Foods and Drinks Banned in America

Though the studies and investigations showing the possible dangers of these ingredients are not to be taken lightly, food manufactures in America surely are not trying to poison the American people. Different countries have different policies and politics when it comes to food, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) assures that it is monitoring the safety of all ingredients available for American consumers. The varying food-safety laws around the world are good reminders for all of us to be aware of what ingredients are in our foods, and not to panic, but to use common sense and mild precaution when choosing what foods we eat.

RELATED: 150 Foods Worth Traveling For

1. Olestra (aka Olean)

Olestra is a zero-calorie fat substitute created to make healthier snacks such as fat-free potato chips. But olestra has been shown to cause side effects in the form of gastrointestinal problems, as well as weight gain – instead of weight loss – on lab rats. The U.K. and Canada are two places that have banned this fat substitute from their food markets.

2. Brominated Vegetable Oil

Brominated vegetable oil (BVO), is vegetable oil, derived from corn or soy, bonded with the element bromine. It’s added to many sodas and sports drinks prevent the flavoring from separating and floating to the surface. But bromine has also been shown to alter the central nervous and endocrine systems, causing skin rashes, acne, loss of appetite, fatigue, and cardiac arrhythmia. The chemical is banned both in Europe and Japan.

RELATED: 101 Best Hotel Restaurants Around the World 2013

3. Synthetic Hormones rBGH & rBST

These two growth hormones can be found in dairy products such as yogurt and milk. The controversy with cows injected with these hormones is that several studies cite rBGH as a cause of cancer. Due to these reports, many consumers in the U.S. choose to buy organic milk and dairy products, as well as those labeled “rBGH free,” and the hormone is totally banned at milk and dairy farms and in dairy products in the European Union, Australia, Canada, Israel, and New Zeeland.

RELATED: 13 Breakfast Plates Around the World

4. Azodicarbonamide

This chemical azodicarbonamide can be found in boxed pasta mixes, breads, frozen dinners, and packaged baked goods, and is added as an instant bleaching agent for flour. In Singapore, Australia, and most European countries, this chemical is banned due to reports of it causing asthma. Azodicarbonamide is also a chemical used in foamed plastics, like yoga mats.

5. BHA and BHT

Found in cereals, nut mixes, chewing gum, butter spreads, and many other foods in need of preservation, BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are commonly used preservatives. The National Toxicology Program’s 2011 report on carcinogens states that BHA can trigger allergic reactions and hyperactivity and “is reasonably anticipated to be a human hazard.” The preservatives are both banned in parts of the European Union and Japan, and the U.K. doesn’t allow BHA in infant foods.

Click here to see more Foods Americans Eat That Are Banned Around the World

20 Years Later: Returning to FDA to Regulate Tobacco


Mitch Zeller became the director of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) in March 2013, but he has been working on FDA-related issues for decades. In this webinar, he talks about his background and shares his thoughts on key opportunities for FDA to help reduce the health impact of tobacco use through product regulation.

The webinar will be moderated by Kathy Crosby, CTP’s director of Health Communication and Education, and will allow for questions and answers at the end of the presentation. To attend the online webinar, please book this date and time on your calendar now.


Visit our website to learn more about this webinar and find the log-in instructions. You can also find out how to send questions in advance via Twitter.

FDA Taking Closer Look at ‘Antibacterial’ Soap

12/16/2013 09:00 AM EST
Will antibacterial soaps, in addition to keeping you clean, reduce your risk of getting sick or passing on germs to others? Data suggest that the risks associated with long-term, daily use may outweigh the benefits.

It was just chicken salad…

Policy and Action from Consumer Reports

It won’t be easy. But we can do this.Our antibiotics must work when your family needs them. And that means taking on some of the biggest power players in the marketplace. Your tax-deductible, year-end donation will help us take the fight to them.

Donate Now!

At 15, Sam was on the top of the world. He pitched varsity baseball as a freshman, sprouted three inches in the off-season. Pro scouts even came calling.

Then he ate a chicken caesar salad that changed his life.

Within three days Sam was headed to the emergency room doubled over in a diaper. Sickened with antibiotic-resistant bacteria common to chicken, he was bleeding and wasting away. Drug after drug was tried. Each failed. His parents were frantic. A month later when his infection was finally under control, Sam lost 30 pounds and couldn’t jog without wheezing. His pitching career was over.

This is our reality – a strapping Midwestern teen taken down by a ‘superbug’ in his chicken salad. The rapid rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria is so serious, the CDC warns that unless we act soon, it may be too late. Which is why we need your help now to get the attention of those who can fix this.

Your $10 tax-deductible donation will go directly to getting politicians and industry to face up to our antibiotic crisis!

We’re up against some of the biggest power players in the marketplace – the giant industrial meat producers. They already use 80 percent of antibiotics sold, and want to keep feeding them to food animals so they’ll grow bigger and survive cramped, filthy conditions. Last week’s FDA move to voluntarily re-label animal antibiotics is expected to have only a small impact on overall use.

This overuse is spawning drug-resistant bacteria that make their way into our food and the environment. At least 23,000 Americans die each year. So we’re unleashing consumer power to stop this unnecessary use.

We’re pressuring Congress and health officials to take emergency action to stop antibiotic overuse in food production. We’re pushing a leading national grocery chain – Trader Joe’s – to lead the marketplace and stop selling antibiotic-raised meat. We’re testing supermarket meat at Consumer Reports labs to discover how widespread a problem it is.

We must do more to solve this. Can you help crank up the pressure in 2014 with your $10 year-end gift?

Drug-resistant bacteria robbed Sam of his baseball career, but through great effort he recovered and went on to play college football. Yet no child should have to go through this. You’ve stood with us throughout this important fight, and we need your help to see it through. For kids like Sam. For kids like yours and mine.

Sincerely, Chris Meyer, Consumers Union Policy and Action from Consumer Reports

Contamination and no recalls … Urge recall and launch real reform!

Policy and Action from Consumer Reports

Foster Farms won’t budge. With nearly 300 sick so far, and antibiotic resistant salmonella strains linked back to particular Foster Farms processing plants, it’s time for a recall.

More than that, it’s long past time our nation’s food producers stop overusing antibiotics on food animals — a practice that makes our life-saving drugs less effective at fighting deadly bacteria.

Despite the government shutdown, we’ll get you heard on this important health issue! Send a message now, and we will get it into the right hands at USDA and FDA.

Demand an immediate recall and new rules for antibiotic use!

When antibiotic resistant strains make people sick, industry reminds us to cook the food more. Wipe everything with bleach. While these precautions certainly help, they don’t address the underlying problem.

Our nation’s meat and chicken industry relies heavily on the overuse of antibiotics to speed growth and help animals survive filthy, crowded conditions. Overuse spurs the emergence of antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’ on both the farm and in our communities.

That’s why we’re also asking that FDA finally take a strong stand for reduced antibiotic use in agriculture. The current outbreak should serve as a warning. Let’s make real progress before the antibiotics we need for human health no longer work.

Send your message now. We’ll get it to the right people, even with the shutdown.

And don’t forget — get rid of this chicken. Learn how to tell whether you have it in your house or if it’s for sale at your store.. Then forward this email to friends and family so they can check their fridge and join our movement to save our nation’s antibiotics for human health.

Meg Bohne, NotInMyFood.org,
A project of Consumers Union, Policy and Action from Consumer Reports