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How Food Companies Exploit Americans with Ingredients Banned in Other Countries

Thoughts of outrage, unfairness, disbelief, and ultimately grief consumed me while I was doing this investigation. A list of ingredients that are banned across the globe but still allowed for use here in the American food supply recently made news. While I have written about some of those ingredients before, this list inspired me to look a little deeper and find out how pervasive this issue is for us. Could these banned ingredients be contributing to the higher mortality and disease rates here in the U.S.?

The health of Americans is downright grim according to a report just released by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council. It declares “Americans are sicker and die younger than other people in wealthy nations.” The United States spends 2.5 times more on health care than any other nation, however, when compared with 16 other nations we come in dead last in terms of health and life expectancy for men and near the bottom for women.

Here is the breakdown for you:

  • More than two thirds of United States citizens are overweight – 33% being obese.
  • 32% of children are either obese or overweight.
  • 43% of Americans are projected to be obese in 10 years.
  • After smoking, obesity is America’s biggest cause of premature death and is linked to 70% of heart disease and 80% of diabetes cases.
  • And 41% of Americans are projected to get cancer in their lifetime!

These reports and statistics scream the word HELP!
Recently, I spent some time down in Mississippi volunteering in the most obese county in the nation. I found that while social and economic factors do play a part in this epidemic, the main culprit was the lack of nutrition education. The victims of obesity are likely the same victims of systematic brainwashing from Big Food marketers, relying on diet soda, low fat products, or looking only at calories on product labels. Basically, they are doing what the food industry has been teaching them about losing weight versus finding out the truth about real food.

And that’s the problem – the food industry is the one leading our conversation in this country about food and nutrition, educating the mass public about what to eat and what not to eat. Coca-Cola recently even went as far as creating a special campaign to combat obesity – yes you read that right – a sugar filled soda company trying to stop obesity. (You can read my reaction to that here).

Unfortunately, the doctors in this country are not exactly leading the discussion either, since nutrition is not currently a focus in medical school. And the government has their hands tied by big food industry and chemical company lobbyists that basically control what the FDA approves, deems safe for human consumption, and our overall food policy.
So who is going to finally tell us the truth about our food?

The food industry does not want us to pay attention to the ingredients nor do they care about the negative effects from eating them. They certainly don’t care about the astronomical medical bills that are a direct result of us eating the inferior food they are creating.

The HELP we need starts here. We as a collective nation must stop this trajectory of sickness and rising health care costs, by understanding the ingredients we are putting into our bodies. We must challenge the U.S. food industry to discontinue the use of banned ingredients that are not allowed elsewhere in the world. We deserve to have the same quality food without potential toxins.

Food is medicine, and plain and simple, if our food is sick (filled with GMO’s, chemicals, additives, artificial ingredients, and/or carcinogens), collectively we as a country are going to continue to be sick.

Using banned ingredients that other countries have determined unsafe for human consumption has become a pandemic in this country. To prove this point, I found the best and easiest place to look for evidence was just across “the pond” in the United Kingdom, where they enjoy some of the same types of products we do – but with totally different ingredient lists.
It is appalling to witness the examples I am about to share with you. The U.S. food corporations are unnecessarily feeding us chemicals – while leaving out almost all questionable ingredients in our friends’ products overseas. The point is the food industry has already formulated safer, better products, but they are voluntarily only selling inferior versions of these products here in America. The evidence of this runs the gamut from fast food places to boxed cake mix to cereal to candy and even oatmeal – you can’t escape it.

US brands that are reformulated without additives in other countries

Some of the key American brands that are participating in this deception are McDonald’s, Pringles (owned by Kellogg’s), Pizza Hut and Quaker (owned by Pepsi), Betty Crocker (owned by General Mills), Starburst (owned by M&M/Mars), and Ritz Crackers (owned by Kraft). In the examples below, red text indicates potentially harmful ingredients and/or ingredients likely to contain GMOs.

Betty Crocker Red Velvet Cake Mix Ingredients

Betty Crocker cream cheese icing ingredients

Having a pre-made box of flour, baking soda and sugar all ready to go saves time for some people when it comes to making a cake, but does saving time have to come at the expense of chemically derived and potentially toxic ingredients?
The United States version of Betty Crocker Red Velvet cake not only has artificial colors linked to hyperactivity in children, food cravings, and obesity, but it also has partially hydrogenated oils (a.k.a. trans fat). Trans fat has been shown to be deadly even in small amounts. “Previous trials have linked even a 40-calorie-per-day increase in trans fat intake to a 23% higher risk of heart disease.” This could easily be the amount of trans fat in one serving of Betty Crocker icing alone.

Sodium benzoate is an ingredient that Coca-Cola actually removed in their Diet Coke product overseas, but you’ll still find it in their product Sprite, cake mixes and loads of other products across the USA. The Mayo Clinic reported that this preservative increases hyperactivity in children. Also, when sodium benzoate combines with ascorbic acid (vitamin C), it can form benzene, a carcinogen that damages DNA in cells and accelerates aging.

McDonald's french fries ingredients

Fast Food giants like McDonald’s and Pizza Hut are just as guilty as General Mills’ Betty Crocker.
Look closely at the ingredients in McDonald’s french fries above. Do you see how the french fries in the U.K. version are basically just potatoes, vegetable oil, a little sugar and salt? How can McDonald’s make french fries with such an uncomplicated list of ingredients all over Europe, but not over here? Why do McDonald’s french fries in the U.S. have to have TBHQ, trans fat and “anti-foaming” agents? Correct me if I’m wrong, but the last time I checked – I didn’t think Americans liked foam with their fries either!
The anti-foaming agent – dimethylpolysiloxane – is a type of silicone used in caulks and sealants and as a filler for breast implants. It’s also the key ingredient in silly putty.
Thanks FDA for allowing companies to put silly putty in our french fries. Seriously – this is out of control.

McDonald's strawberry sauce ingredients
McDonalds Strawberry Sauce in the United States includes high fructose corn syrup, red #40 and sodium benzoate, while the citizens of the U.K. get off scot-free. Instead, they get 37% real strawberries in their product and no additional flavoring or harmful preservatives.

Pizza Hut garlic cheese bread ingredients

Pizza Hut does a huge disservice to us (and their workers) by using Azodicarbonamide in their garlic cheese bread. This ingredient is banned as a food additive in the U.K., Europe, and Australia, and if you get caught using it in Singapore you can get up to 15 years in prison and be fined $450,000. The U.K. has recognized this ingredient as a potential cause of asthma if inhaled, and advises against its use in people who have sensitivity to food dye allergies and other common allergies in food, because azodicarbonamide can exacerbate the symptoms. However, Pizza Hut and many other fast food chains like Subway and Starbucks use this ingredient in their U.S. bread products.

Natural and artificial flavors and hidden MSG (in the form of autolyzed yeast extract, in this case) are commonly found throughout products in America but not elsewhere. Junk food companies intentionally add this combination of ingredients to create sensory overload by exciting your brain cells to remember the food you are eating and make less nutritious ingredients taste better to you.
I’m not saying that the food industry has completely eliminated these same tricks abroad – but when you look at the U.K. version of garlic cheese bread, the ingredients look pretty basic. Many of the ingredients you could use at home to make garlic bread. I’ve never found TBHQ in the baking aisle at the grocery store, have you? TBHQ, by the way, is a preservative derived from petroleum and used in perfumes, resins, varnishes and oil field chemicals. Laboratory studies have linked TBHQ to stomach tumors. This preservative is also used by Chick-Fil-A in their famous chicken sandwiches.

Pringles sour cream and onion chip ingredients

Reviewing the ingredients in Pringles really got me worked up… ever wonder why you can’t stop eating chips after having just one? MSG is the culprit – and in the U.S. version of Pringles, it’s added twice! Once in its known name and again in a hidden source, called “yeast extract.”

This begs the question “Why are Americans so addicted to processed food?!” The food industry has designed it that way on purpose to line their pockets with profits, at the expense of our health.

Ritz Crackers ingredients

The U.K. Ritz Crackers ingredient list resembles items that you’d find in every household around the country – but the United States version goes the extra mile to include trans fat, HFCS and natural flavor. Natural flavor can be also be a hidden form of MSG, which, again, is an additive that will likely make you eat more than you would otherwise.

Quaker Oats strawberry flavor ingedients

In the United States, Quaker Oats has several different flavors of oatmeal that contain different fruit flavored, artificially dyed pieces of dehydrated apple but that don’t actually contain any of the fruit shown on the package. But in the U.K. – they don’t even attempt to sell that garbage. They instead have a product called “Oats so Simple” that actually has REAL strawberries in it – light years ahead of our version that includes trans fat, artificial food coloring, and artificial flavors.

Rice Krispies ingredients

There’s only one difference in Rice Krispies between the U.S. and U.K. version – but it’s a big difference. It’s one ingredient that is banned virtually in every other country, except here in the United States. That ingredient is called BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) or BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and is a very common preservative used rampantly throughout packaged food in the U.S.

Test studies published by the IPCS (International Program for Chemical Safety) “show tissue inflammation, enlargement, and/or growths in 100%, and cancer in 35% of [animal] subjects” as reported in this article. How can the U.S. allow this chemical in our food – much less in cereal aimed and targeted at our kids?

Starburst Fruit Chews ingredients

And speaking of targeting our kids – food companies have found a way to naturally color candy all over Europe, but our candy here is still full of artificial substances made from petroleum and GMO sugar. Looking at the ingredients in Starburst Fruit Chews provides a great example of this disgrace.

I saved the most startling fact for last. One very cautionary set of ingredients that are included in almost all of the American products but not the U.K. products are GMO’s, in the form of either corn or soy.

There have been no long term human studies on GMOs and preliminary studies on animals show horrific consequences. For instance, a study showed GMOs caused toxic and allergic reactions, sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ studied in lab animals. Another study revealed that female rats fed GMO soy for 15 months showed significant health issues in their uterus and reproductive cycle, compared to rats fed organic soy or those raised without soy. A 2009 French Study concluded that Glyphosate (used on GMO soy) can kill the cells in the outer layer of the human placenta, the organ that connects the mother to her fetus, providing nutrients and oxygen and emptying waste products. A Russian study conducted on hamsters that were fed GMO soy diets for two years over three generations found that by the third generation, most of the hamsters lost the ability to have babies, showed slower growth, and suffered a higher mortality rate.

Example UK genetically modified ingredient label

Example UK genetically modified ingredient label

In the U.K. food companies are required by law to list if a certain ingredient is derived from a genetically modified or genetically engineered material on the label. Out of all the products I researched, I couldn’t find one product with this label. (See example from GMO-Compass and BBC above of what it would look like if I did.)

This was very telling considering that not only have food companies taken out all sorts of hazardous chemical ingredients abroad – but they also have willingly reformulated their products without GMOs.

Food corporations in the U.S. claim reformulating their products to remove harmful ingredients or changing labels would be too expensive – but they’ve already done just that in Europe and in many other countries. Their governments listened to the outrage of their people and took the safety of their citizens’ health above everything else. Is it too much to ask the same for us in the United States of America? How much do our sickness, obesity, and mortality rates have to worsen before they respond to us?

I will leave you with this note: is and I are very disturbed about the shameful hypocrisy allowed to happen with our food supply here in the U.S. In fact we are feeling very compelled to do something about it. Stay tuned, because we are going to need every one of you to help when we are ready. In the meantime, I hope you’ll share this article (you can use the green ShareThis button below).

March 5th Update: I have started a petition – please sign and share it now. Together we can make a change.

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289 responses to “How Food Companies Exploit Americans with Ingredients Banned in Other Countries

    1. YouKnow – If you enjoy putting your head in the sand so much as it appears you do, why are you here? There are plenty of narrow-minded websites to go to that support your rude way of thinking. Although, it might be harder to call people names there if they support your personal views I suppose. I am so thankful for this website and for the important food issues that are being brought to light here. If that makes me a liberal fruit loop, at least I plan to be one without artificial colors, flavors, and chemicals that have no place in what we put in our bodies and the bodies of our children.

      1. I love your last line “one without artificial colors…” truly awesome! I am not sure what voting party had to do with hazardous food?! I mean I am a repub and I want all this sick crap out of my families food too!

      2. Couldn’t agree more. Maybe having a child with cancer would change their way of thinking. I am also thankful for FoodBabe bringing light to such a disturbing issue.

      3. Way to go Nikki. Isn’t funny how someone like that follows a site that they don’t believe in. Get a life goofball! Probably some geek that works for one of the big companies that are poisoning us!

    2. youknow,

      You must be a masochist to get on this thread with your comment!! I believe this site is for people who like to be informed about ingredients in food. Big food companies love people like you!! Spend your time on political sites wasting your time… SO thankful for this site!!

      1. Many of these morons are payed to disrupt a good cause that may hurt profits. It’s all about money for these jerks.

    3. I am a cold hard conservative Republican and I am outraged about this! I think if you don’t give a crap about what they are feeding you and the fact that its killing you, YOU’RE the fruit loop!

      1. YES! You don’t need to vote a certain way to realize that if you don’t know what you’re putting into your body, it makes you part of the problem!
        Healthcare starts at the grocery store, not your doctor’s waiting room!

      2. I too am a conservative and am like-minded with Food Babe when it comes to what is being done to the American people, many of which don’t have a clue.

    4. Why does this have to be a political issue? It’s about making sure our food is safe and that should be important to everyone.

    5. I am far from being a liberal, I am actually very conservative. I believe this as do most of my friends and family. We try to eat as fresh as possible and I feel alot better than I use too.

    6. I’m not a Liberal… But I still have an interest in self preservation. Look at the statistics in this country and all the sick and dead. YES IT IS killing us you fool.

    7. Guys listen…
      The handle “YouKnow” is likely a government paid troll for all we know. Remember that one of Snowdens latest leaks was that the NSA has an entire department dedicated to spreading diversion and dissent within online/ alternative media (just think “divide & conquer”) . The bottom line is that Real conservatives dont support CRONYISM any more than the next guy. The problem BEGINS and ENDS with the FDA and USDA. They exercise and grant MONOPOLY like privileges to politically connected companies while providing legal cover from any possible threats. The solution therefore is NOT to throw up our hands and grant EVEN MORE POWER to the corrupt (revolving door) regulators. the REAL solution therefor is to remove the obstacles that prevent COMPETITION from us 99% to provide REAL: LOCAL/SUSTAINABLE/WHOLESOME food to the market. The best book on this is : EVERYTHING I WANT TO DO IS ILLEGAL by Joel Salatin. another book by him is: FOLKS THIS AINT NORMAL. He was featured in such documentaries as: Food INC. , Farmageddon , and Omnivore”s Dilema. He is a very successful alternative/natural farmer and Americas foremost expert on this whole subject… a real laid back guy; I even met him in person….oh and he’s a LIBERTARIAN!!! …. just sayin. So lets find some common ground folks and continue to speak truth to power. Peace!

      1. HEAR THIS! Also, why do I see the scene from “Team America” ( where all the famous people are gathered talking about world wide issues) when I read the comments above and below? LOL.

    8. Health has nothing to do with liberal or conservative… It has to do with educating oneself… Looks like you could add a bit of that in your life…

    9. Let’s see…

      Everything you put in your body reacts on your body (including the brain), and reacts with each other. A lot of “foods” have been shown to cause a lot of damage to the body.

      Those countries which have recently adopted the SAD (Standard American Diet) way of eating develop dramatic spikes in pretty much every ailment known to man.

      To think that this is a “liberal fruitloop” site because it informs of how to mitigate these effects and calls those responsible for Americas’ sinkhole health condition makes me suspicious that maybe you work for them.

      A simple point: Most of us on this site are already informed of the effects of food, food additives, and GMO. We came here to learn MORE about it. We’ve disconnected from the Matrix. You’re not convincing anyone.

      No respect for the shills and posers.

    10. I am shocked at You Know…apparently You DON’T know. How is it you feel eating carcinogenic substances doesn’t affect our health? The 44% increase in U.S. diseases (including Autism) and massive rise in obesity isn’t a clue to you? Our FDA is a joke and an embaressment. It is up to us as intelligent people (apparently excluding OP) to read labels and do research. The food companies do not care about health – they care about profit and Americans are too stupid and lazy to say “ENOUGH”…
      This has NOTHING to do with political stance or FOX. Those are ridiculous statements. It’s about being responsible for what you put in your and your kids bodies. Being held responsible is actually a creedo of the “right wingers”…
      Wake up!!!

    11. Liberals? Really? You think wanting real food, and factual information about what’s in substances being sold as food is a political stance. You’re an idiot.

    12. I am a christian conservative and I find it appauling that these dangerous additives are in our food! I love this site for giving me info about what they are putting in my food. Or should I say the companies food because they will no longer be brought into my home!! Thanks so very much Food Babe!!

    13. YOU KNOW, obviously you don’t know. This has nothing to do with who’s conservative and who is liberal. If you want to go ahead and eat your fill of chemicals, GMO’s and crap, then guess what?? YOU ARE FULL OF CRAP! We follow Food Babe, because she brings us honest and concise answers, unlike you. Perhaps you are already gone from this earth. Consumed your last Mc Donald’s french fry and died of a massive coronary on your way to hospital. We can only hope.

    14. You know you are an idiot…I am about as conservative as they come…but unlike the sheeple you speak for..I am also capable of independent thought…

      and if you weren’t so ignorant, you’d discover that BOTH sides of the aisle are equally at fault…since many of the appointees from Reagan through Obama work for the very same companies that put profit before the health of the U.S. citizens that groups like this (Food Babe. et al) expose…wake up..

      all we ask for, is to leave our food alone!!! What once upon a time was healthy, now is questionable…so if you want to be a lab rat…so be’s your choice…

      Our best option is this, as well as voting with our wallets…like any business, they will go where the money is..we buy healthy and avoid their crap..they lose market share…simple economics..

    15. Have you looked at the asthma, allergy, autism and auto-immune rates over time? That’s just the A’s. But in your mind that’s another universe from what you and everyone else is eating. No connection, right?

  1. youknow you must be a crazy right winger to make that comment I guess you don’t mind eating lots of chemicals that shouldn’t be in your food. Keep believing what Fox News tells you.

    1. I’m more to the right and think “youknow” who’s a dick! lol I think all these big corp. types along with the top bureaucrats and gov’t officials be put in prison indefinitely!

      And as far as Pinhead, oh, I mean youknow goes, he’s just looking for attention like the misguided child he is.

    2. Hey! I’m a right winger and there’s nothing crazy about me. I feel the same way you do about this article, and I watch Fox 4 News. Quit making your broad assumptions. No two people are the same.

    3. Hey! I’m a conservative that watches Fox News and there’s nothing crazy about me. I’m outraged they’re putting this crap in our food! Quit making your general assumptions about people just because one idiot said something stupid!

    4. I’m pretty much of a right-wing nut job as far as believing the framers got it right when they wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. One job the federal government should do –or if not, the states should do it – is to make sure our food supply is real food. Or, as a bare minimum, make sure we know what all that crap is that’s in it.

    5. I am a christian conservative and I listen to Fox and I have never heard them say anything negative about the Food Babe. As a matter of fact that station is not in cahoots with the pharms and the liberal senators who own stock in the pharms that want to shut down your right to vitamins and supplements.. I happen to be a health food fanatic and love the Food Babe and all she does to inform us of what’s going on behind our backs. The O’Reilly Factor even had some healthful hints that big corporations might have not liked!! So let’s not put every conservative in a box just because of one nut! I would think no matter what party you are loyal too, you would want our government to do their job and get rid of all these toxic additives!!

  2. I wouldn’t have believed this b4 but since going to Italy last year. I really believe they are killing us slowly with our food here in the US. I always get a stomach ache when I eat out here in the US and I’ve had to stop eating Gluten all together. However, when I went to Italy….. Not one stomach ache and I did actually eat some pizza with gluten….. Nothing …. Nothing happened to me. No stomach ache … No clearing the room ( nice way of saying no smelling farts and etc…. )becz I ate Gluten. Complete difference! In was unbelievable the difference!

    1. Thanks for your unbiased and objective (although based on your subjective experience) feedback! I have heard this often with European friends. Keep eating non-GMO foods (I know they’re hard to find here in the U.S.) and I hope you’ll share your news with your (conservative) friends so that EVERYONE–regardless of party affiliation, can improve their health by eating truly healthy food! 🙂

    2. I agree with you!. I also traveled to Italy, and I would eat anything and as much as I wanted. people there would always tell me where the food was from. they always had fresh ingredients. They would even explain to me what the cows would eat at that time of the year and would go on about the cheese taste and how it would taste different next season ( you know, cows eating green pasture in spring versus different pasture during winter) amazin. and i didn’t even gain 1 pound. it goes to show the quality of food there.

  3. I notice that several items in the UK formulation have dextrose listed in the ingredients. In the beer making hobby we call dextrose “corn sugar” because it’s usually derived from corn. Therefore it looks like they are slipping in possible GMO corn derived sugar.

    1. If they’re getting the corn from the U.S., yes! As far as I know, it’s only the U.S. that has the gmo thing going on, mostly wheat and corn, and infecting the countries we export it to.

  4. It doesn’t surprise me at all that food additives and more regarding our food is overlooked in this country. Who’s minding the store and who’s minding the store keepers? The USDA is “responsible” for making sure things we eat are “safe” but I’m sure a lot of people don’t realize that the USDA is also responsible for checking breeders; puppy mills etc. 99.9% pass and the conditions are deplorable. Most of the dogs have never been out of their wire crate crammed with other dogs and those puppies are the ones people buy from pet stores etc., and not one has ever seen a Vet. Talk about one end of the spectrum to the other. Why and who decided this should be under the USDA to begin with? It really makes me wonder what else the USDA is “responsible” for and what just slides on by as “safe” and “comply’s” with their substandard’s. Years ago we used to trust that label on food. Now? No way. I keep saying ‘one day’ I’ll do a search to find out what else they are “responsible” for but I still haven’t. I’m actually afraid of what I might find.

  5. I live in Canada, but a lot of our products are similar to U.S. products. Is there a list of GMO foods between Canada and the U.S. that you could send me so I can be more careful when I shop? I try to avoid anything with corn or soy or their byproducts in the ingredients, but as you know, labelling practices aren’t what they could or should be. I know there are more GMO products/crops out there that I’m not aware of and I’d really like to know what they are.

    1. Hi, I also live in Canada, and I went to Health Canada’s website to look at the list of ‘permitted food additives’ which is disgusting! I think we need to petition Health Canada to stop allowing this, and if a company can make a product without in UK\Europe, why the hell do we allow it here? I really think because we live in Canada or the USA, so many people think our respective countries wouldn’t let companies put anything in our food that would harm us, which is total crap! It’s all down to the almighty dollar, and you can bet the pharmaceuticals love the fact that the food companies are harming our health. You are what you eat has never been truer than it is today! Here is the Health Canada website if you would like to peruse it!

  6. This is why I am trying to make healthy changes for my whole family! In the past year I have drastically changed the way we eat, esp since my kids are 5 and 1. Thanks for all your information!

  7. Am I the only one who is wondering what the FDA does or who pays them? WHY does the FDA allow these even in “limited” servings?

  8. We need a letter writing campaign of massive proportion to the president, who has oversight over the FDA and the USDA. He is the wolf guarding the hen house. And also to the first lady who is the biggest hypocrite for healthy eating in the U.S.

    For the food industry, my question is WHY? Is it really all about saving and making money? I see the food science proponents saying it’s all safe, but I would really like them to answer why so many kids are sick today? Asthma, allergies, autism, ADHD, life threatening food allergies, gluten intolerance, juvenile diabetes, cancer and MORE are increasing at high percentages.

    We seriously can’t look the other way, or laugh it off.

  9. If all of this wasn’t sickening and depressing enough, add to it the fact that cancer itself is a massive hoax. A hoax that has killed friends and family members of mine and countless others. The food mentioned above, enthusiastically endorsed by the FDA, combined with toxic personal care products, causes cancer … and yet good, healthy things are demonized. Essentials like vitamin D from the sun, good fats from butter/eggs/avocados, and vital vegetables are shunned in favor of carcinogenic sunscreen, margarine, canola oil, and aspartame. So when 2/3 of people naturally end up with cancer, doctors are trained to only know three “solutions” that haven’t been changed in decades: surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. Of the three, two cause cancer in and of themselves – not to mention destroy the person along with the cancer. The actual cures to cancer (of which there are many!!) are obscured or outlawed and their creators are blacklisted. Can’t shut down that booming profit center with a silly cure, now can we?

    Even if people eat well and take care of themselves, women are still practically forced to get mammograms, which also cause cancer or at the very least detect false-positive pre-cancerous cells, which is enough to get them rushed into chemo. Even though their bodies could have handled it alone. Alternately, since doctors only know to push pills, people are pumped full of deadly prescription pharmaceuticals (also enthusiastically promoted by the FDA) to fix any little ailment and are then even worse off than they started and headed down the road to diabetes, heart disease, etc. Not to mention we have all been set up for profitable health problems from birth via dangerous vaccine cocktails. What a wonderful country we live in….

    1. I agree with most of the things you said about the food products, but your mammogram theory is absolutely ridiculous, and if you dont agree then you are practically siding with the FDA. The government is telling women not to have mammograms for 5 yrs. Being in the breast imaging industry, i cant tell you how many doctors oppose this radical information. First, an xray a yr does not cause cancer. Every time you fly you get the equivolent of 2 chest xrays. Are you telling me that pilots have an increased percentage of cancer? No. And a mammo is less radiation than 1 chest xray. Also, if you are so lucky to catch cancer from a mammogram that is less that 3mm big, because that is what mammos can do, three are a lot of other alternatives than to be immediately “forced” by drs to have chemo/radiation. I know this article is about food, but if youre going to be knowledgeable in something you write, be knowledgeable about it all.

      1. Any amount of radiation targeted toward some of the most delicate tissue in the body is inherently risky. I’m not saying every woman who has a mammogram is going to “catch” cancer from it (which is incorrect terminology anyway), but there are far safer options available. Thermography is a good example. I’ve also never heard people in medical authority or the government DIScourage women from mammograms. Quite the contrary.

        There are also official studies, such as one by the New England Journal of Medicine, showing mammograms frequently create false positives, putting many women through chemo/radiation who never should have been subjected to that.

        “We found that there were only around 0.1 million fewer women with a diagnosis of late-stage breast cancer. This discrepancy means there was a lot of overdiagnosis: more than a million women who were told they had early stage cancer–most of whom underwent surgery, chemotherapy or radiation–for a “cancer” that was never going to make them sick. Although it’s impossible to know which women these are, that’s some pretty serious harm.”

        While I am not a mammogram technician, as you claim to be, I have lost immediate family members to breast cancer. Thus, I have put countless hours of research into this topic instead of blindly listened to the opinions of the powers that be.

  10. I truly think that instead of trying to cure cancer we should fight the NO MORE GMOs on our food supply, which I think is the cause of all cancer and strange, never-before-seen illnesses. The government, FDA should do a better job not allowing additives and preservatives and fillers that we know are making us sick and killing us.

  11. Guys listen…
    The handle “YouKnow” is likely a government paid troll for all we know. Remember that one of Snowdens latest leaks was that the NSA has an entire department dedicated to spreading diversion and dissent within online/ alternative media (just think “divide & conquer”) . The bottom line is that Real conservatives dont support CRONYISM any more than the next guy. The problem BEGINS and ENDS with the FDA and USDA. They exercise and grant MONOPOLY like privileges to politically connected companies while providing legal cover from any possible threats. The solution therefore is NOT to throw up our hands and grant EVEN MORE POWER to the corrupt (revolving door) regulators. the REAL solution therefor is to remove the obstacles that prevent COMPETITION from us 99% to provide REAL: LOCAL/SUSTAINABLE/WHOLESOME food to the market. The best book on this is : EVERYTHING I WANT TO DO IS ILLEGAL by Joel Salatin. another book by him is: FOLKS THIS AINT NORMAL. He was featured in such documentaries as: Food INC. , Farmageddon , and Omnivore”s Dilema. He is a very successful alternative/natural farmer and Americas foremost expert on this whole subject… a real laid back guy; I even met him in person….oh and he’s a LIBERTARIAN!!! …. just sayin. So lets find some common ground folks and continue to speak truth to power. Peace!

    1. I’ve been following Food Babe and the comments for a while and right after her appearance at Kraft, there were suddenly “trolls” everywhere. Please don’t be distracted from the fact that Big Food has purchased the right to make us sick for profit from our millionaire legislators in D.C.

  12. This is a very well expressed article, something that should be shared and read widely. Grocery stores, factory farming, municipal water have long been used as laundries by the chemical industry to push their products on a naive and in many cases unsuspecting public. This practice was probably optimized during or as a result of the world wars. Industrial capitaliism seems to be waged as a war and appears to operate (if present North American society is any indication) on the assumption that choice is an inconvenience to maximum profit. Therefore the ultimate goal would be to force feed you the product and obligate you to pay for it. This is a little too overt however, so various tools exist for obtaining the same results a llittle more subtley, such as concealing things you don’t want in others that you do and in monopolization (to minimize or negate choice). I am heartened that people are beginning to realize this and are beginning to reveal it to the mainstream.

  13. I simply don’t understand why the USA is so ignorant to allow this. Makes me want to pack it up and move.

  14. I think most important is that you talk to everyone about this. We eat everyday and we need this to end here. We deserve better but it has to be all of us in and I’m in!!! Let’s change this now!

  15. How are the companys “exploiting” us? They are using ingredients that are approved. Its not like they are sneaking these illegal things into their products. Its clearly written on all labels. If you want to be upset with someone, be mad at the people that approved the use of these ingredients.

  16. McDonalds food is actually a helluva lot better tasting in Europe. Everything is drowned in salt here.

  17. I’m not a liberal but I still want safe food. I still want safe food for my family and future generations. It’s wrong to assume that just because someone is trying to better something such as this, that it makes them a liberal. Good grief. So narrow minded.

  18. It’s no different with our skincare, haircare & all other personal care products here in the U.S. I share with as many people I can, everyday, that Arbonne’s products are the safest available to us 🙂

  19. And before people jump on me, let me add one thing. I say this for your benefit. If you make food choices with good reliable information, whatever you choose, it is your responsibility.

    If you make food choices based on inaccurate information which you believe to be correct, you aren’t making an informed decision no matter what you choose. We need to hold providers of information to be accountable to be accurate.

    Case in point, the title directly links whether food additives are safe (or not) to their availability in the United States and other countries. True there are many ingredients banned worldwide. There are also additives which the US bans, which are common in other countries. The banning itself does not indicate safety – it only indicates the political climate of the country. Saccharin is a classic example. An artificial sweetener used all over the world, banned off and on in the US. Does that make it bad or good.

    The truth requires more thought and research that have been given here.

    1. A nationwide banning indicates either a) that an unacceptable level of risk has been demonstrated by a product (“unacceptable” of course varies by country); or b) the Precautionary Principle has been put into play. Would like to hear you expound on the relation between human safety (or lack thereof) and political climate. There is one you know, so please contemplate it.

  20. Please don’t suggest we jump on the palm oil band wagon. If it isn’t one cheap fix, it is another. Be responsible. Make your own stuff. Eat local.

  21. As a proud member of the food industry, I find this article to be so misinformed and more importantly, ignorant. I may not work for a big company that creates all these processed foods, but when you blame the “food industry” repeatedly and not these companies specifically, you include every cook, every server, every burger flipper. For starters, it is not our sole job to inform on healthy nutrition for Americans. That is the job of a nutritionist. It’s pretty simple though…salad, vegetables and fruits are good. Greasy cheeseburgers and anything deep fried isn’t. So our industry cannot be blamed for the eating habits that you choose. It’s kind of like choosing to smoke or not, you know it’s bad for you, you aren’t forced to, but the options are just presented for you. Secondly, the reason your twinky tastes good is not because it’s baked fresh, it’s because of preservatives and additives that give it a year shelf life. Focusing on the ignorance of this, when comparing the ingredients of the us and uk ingredients, the author typically points out corn oil, corn starch, and corn syrup. The first two are actually healthy ingredients, used in respective amounts. Corn syrup, agreeably, is an unhealthy sweetener added to most mass produced foods. But what they fail to mention is that uk labels put “glucose syrup” which is the same as “corn syrup.” A simple google search can answer that.
    So yes, there are ingredients which are added to products that are mass produced, and may not exist in other countries, but most of the highlighted ones are not deathly harmful and come from ignorance of what it actually is. Next time please do some research and try not to blame the food industry as an entire mass. If people want to eat something, they will. And if they want to be misinformed and read this and believe your word like the Bible, they will.

  22. Is there a list out there that explains what the ingredients are that are listed on food products. Some are obvious and others are not. It sure would be handy.

  23. It just shows you how a lot of these government agencies are useless. Their only concern is the money. I haven’t trusted anything from the FDA for years. They approve things and then you hear what they approved is cancer causing. why are they even around? They are slowly killing us and it’s even worse in our schools they get third rate foods in our school lunches. The stuff our government gives to our schools is disgusting! They get processed chicken with fillers and binders and god only knows what else. I worked at my school cafeteria for a little while and told my kids they are never eating school lunches again after I saw what’s I the food there! The meat with the nachos smelt so bad I wouldn’t feed it to my dogs and they let our kids eat it!

    1. FDA = Fatal Defects Allowed. The federal gov’t and all its alphabet departments is in BUSINESS. It’s NOT the business of nurturing or health protection, but part of its job is to PORTRAY THAT IMAGE TO THE MASSES. Overwhelming empirical evidence confirms these three sentences. YOUR job is to see it for what it is and to take appropriate defensive measures for your personal well being. If you care about protecting others as well, than you must also take offensive measures, i.e., activism like Vani Hari’s.

  24. So why do have to spend 5times more to eat food that is good for me? Wouldn’t for example fruit grown organically should be cheaper because they are just planting and picking, aren’t they? Yet I have to pay more for organic because that is the “in” thing now…how do they also grow so much organic fruits and veggies? Seems odd they have enough for everyone?

    1. I live in Canada but not sure how it works in the states. A farmer has to grow a crop for 3 full years organic (tested and checked) and can not be organic certified until the 4 th year. And it costs alot to the farmers to go through this process. Not mention they need to keep testing to make sure their crops have not been contaminated by any other surrounding non organic crops. At which time if this happens they lose their organic certification.

  25. Hey,
    I have an idea, why don’t we hire all the military we have looking for job, in the FDA and other food agencies, that would really be protecting America. the complain that they don’t have enough staff to do all the oversight that needs to be done. I have one solution.

  26. So thanks for getting plain cherios. But my kids love Rice crispys and one is high energy, ADHD. BHT is a no no on the ADHD diet. We are on wic and get oatmeal normally with out coupons and make hot cereal and toats it and make granola cereal but she will BEG for rice crispy cereal to the point of tears. I wish we had the UK option.

    1. If she BEGGED for a glass of wine would you give it to her? If she cried for a cigarette would you give her one and light it for her? Is your daughter lowering you or are you raising her?

      1. No I wouldn’t… I also think you are comparing apples to oranges. I will explain that was asking for the Food Babe to look at seeing if we can’t get some of the other “classic cereals” to remove some of the more toxic additives. I perchance an organic brand of “crispy rice” cereal for her when she has had all greens at school now, but it is a special treat because we are on WIC and of low income (to clarify before someone tries to say i’m lazy I work more than 40 hours a week, I also volunteer at a local hospital, I have a large garden, and 5 chickens, and i’m taking online classes) My point is that WIC provides cereals, but all of which have toxic ingredients, and before this year plain oatmeal wasn’t even an option. only the instant with caramel coloring (which we all know is a carcinogen. I’ve know that for 16 years). I had no clue about BHA and BTA for years, though. Since I found out about them I have been very diligent to remove them, before I knew about those ingredients I only bought cheerios and Rice Crispy cereals thinking I was making the better choice. I wish I could have the option of a no toxic cereal that my daughter loves at a reasonable price point. Maybe you should call CPS though since my wish seems to be on par with giving my child cigarettes and booz.

  27. Hi, Vani. I first heard about you when I listened to an interview with you on NPR. I won’t bore everyone w/ the details, but I started researching and reading about healthier foods and being chemical free when I became sick. I am so glad that you are getting the word out there! I think this is the best article of yours that I’ve read so far because I think it can really open people’s eyes to the bigger picture.

  28. You don’t have to be liberal, conservative, republican, democrat, be able to decide what you put in your body is responsible for keeping you healthy or making you sick. I don’t see why the comments on this are political. Keep it simple, just like our food should be!

  29. I am from Europe and since I moved to the US I have to carefully read the labels. Do you know why American company are hurting their own people? Is it about saving money? If I want to petition against this terrible reality, whom should I /we contact?

  30. I won’t go into much else, but the rapeseed oil used in the UK is extremely bad for you. It’s is extremely toxic and a known carcinogen as well.

  31. Politicly I think it’s across the board. The wealthy get involved in a product and lobby it to fill their greedy pockets. Aspertaine in really bad, I believe that was headed by a senator who was invested. GMO’s are proven not good and Monsanto is heading that charge. Who do we have as chair for our food Quality dept. ,,, Ex-Monsanto. Obama appointie? I don’t know. There seams to be a lot of conflict of interest in major offices. Please , stay diligent, open minded and watch the money.. The medical profession is more invested in us being sick then well.

  32. The news said that Subway removed Azodicarbonamide.

    WELL…I looked up the nutritional ingredients on McDonalds website and they have Azodicarbonamide in all their hambuger buns and in the muffins (egg mcmuffins). Also, Azodicarbonamide is in the KIDS HAPPY MEALS (hambuger bun)!!!!!

    I would be nice if everyone knew that!

  33. My daughter is adopted. Breastfeeding wasn’t an option. Then she was six weeks early and ended up being lactose intolerant. She could only tolerate soy formula. I gave it to her believing it would be safe, undergoing the most stringent standards. Turns out I was feeding her GMO soy for a year. Makes me want to cry for her future, for the grandchildren I may not get to have. I can’t believe our government isn’t taking more steps to protect us, especially the most innocent of consumers.

  34. Saw an article last month about the oldest living man of around 120 year. He eats Ritz crackers all the time.

  35. Didn’t Subway say they were going to remove that? They should get credit for that in this article, I think. They’re singled out as one of the “bad guys”, but aren’t they improving? Sorry if this was already mentioned a bunch of times, I didn’t read all of the comments.

    1. Everyone should understand that the corporations get paid when we eat this crap, and their buddies down the street get paid when we get sick. This is about corruption. Google Monsanto and the political revolving door. Google Monsanto and Indian Farmer suicides. Google round up ready corn. A genetically modified (not found in nature) plant with an inherent pesticide designed to withstand an herbicide which kills all other plants, but we should eat? Eat it without question, or without our knowledge? It is time to rise up! Way past time! Im just glad I know now! Come on people! Heads out of ur TVs, phones, the sand?

  36. This is so worth repeating:

    “Food is medicine, and plain and simple, if our food is sick (filled with GMO’s, chemicals, additives, artificial ingredients, and/or carcinogens), collectively we as a country are going to continue to be sick.”

    Amen to that! Thanks for continuing to be the voice for so many who share these concerns over counterfeit food.

  37. The good industry is not force feeding these ingredients to Americans. Take some responsibility. Make better choices personally.

  38. Donald Trump was on Fox News this week commenting on the failures of of our country to negotiate with other countries in trade. He gave a for instance.
    Japan imports 2/3 of the cars we drive without paying USA any import tax. Japan will not import from USA any of our food.
    I immediately thought of the “Food Babe” posts. I wondered if Donald Trump had ever thought that the reason Japan wouldn’t buy our food is because it is poisonous??
    Food Babe….call Donald Trump. He is a great negotiator. Sell him and maybe he could say on Fox News, “Japan won’t buy our food because it’s dangerous!” …..or sell his daughter who works for him.

  39. I really love this website. It is very informative. But, it also makes me feel like there aren’t many options for food to eat. I do buy most of my food fresh (like fruit..etc.) but organic is always stressed. I live in the midwest and during the winter months it’s very hard to buy fresh and the prices are outrageous. We have 1 organic food store in my area and it’s prices are so high. I’m sort of at a loss. There’s no way I can afford to shop there. (i’m full-time nursing student only working part-time) I basically feel like the fresh food i’m buying isn’t even healthy for me and going to eventually give me cancer or something. I also feel like most of the non-perishable things I buy also have at least one bad ingredient. :/ I don’t know what to do!

    1. If you have a Trader Joes in your area I would shop there. Any thing they sell in their store that has their name on the label is non GMO. Check out their website for details. Their prices are reasonable.

      1. Thanks for the reply I didn’t know that! I do like Trader Joe’s but the closest is 2 hours from me, sadly!

  40. Whether the ingredients are proven harmful or not all anyone is saying is change our food labels to show our food contains these ingredients and let us choose whether or not to eat it and feed it to our families.

  41. It takes time to prepare good food for our families. This is a sacrifice we must make if we want to have good clean food. Start from scratch. I don’t think it takes me much longer to make a cake from scratch than to use a boxed mix. We eat lots of fresh vegetables and I think our diet is a healthy one. Seldom eat out. It takes time to plan and have the ingredients in the pantry that are needed for preparation. But it is time well spent.

  42. You guys know that there is msg in pretty much every savory thing you eat though its called Glutamate instead as it’s a naturally occurring chemical.

    Msg stands for Monosodium Glutamate which just means it is in a powder form instead on alreading being in your steak or soy sauce or even in your own body.

  43. It is simple ,just stop purchasing these items and the corporations will be forced to change the ingredients. We all must do this.

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