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U.S. Foods Full of Banned Ingredients

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page and our Food Safety Research Center page.

 More than 3,000 food additives -- preservatives, flavorings, colors and other ingredients -- are added to foods in the United States.

 While each of these substances are legal to use in the US, whether or not they are safe for long-term consumption -- by themselves or in combination -- is a different story altogether. Many have been deemed too harmful to use in other countries.

 When you consider that about 90 percent of the money Americans spend on food goes toward processed foods loaded with these additives, it's no wonder most people are carrying a hefty toxic load that can wreak havoc on their health.

 A list of ingredients that are banned across the globe but still allowed for use in America recently made the news. The list is featured in the new book, Rich Food, Poor Food, authored by nutritionist Mira Calton and her husband Jayson.

 The banned ingredients include various food dyes, the fat substitute Olestra, brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate (aka brominanted flour), Azodicarbonamide, BHA, BHT, rBGH, rBST, and arsenic.

 Seeing that the overall health of Americans is so much lower than other industrialized countries, you can't help but wonder whether toxic ingredients such as these might play a role in our unhealthy conditions.

 Meanwhile, Russia has announced that it plans to extend a ban on U.S. beef, pork and turkey imports coming into effect this month, due to the feed additive ractopamine in the meats. Ractopamine is a growth stimulant banned in several countries, including Russia.

Processed Foods Depend on Additives

 When foods are processed, not only are valuable nutrients lost and fibers removed, but the textures and natural variation and flavors are also lost. After processing, what's left behind is a bland, uninteresting "pseudo-food" that most people wouldn't want to eat.

 So at this point, food manufacturers must add back in the nutrients, flavor, color and texture to processed foods in order to make them palatable, and this is why they become loaded with food additives. 


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