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Banned in other countries, these chemicals are still being found in American foods

Legislating what is safe for human consumption and what is not should be a universal practice but it’s not. While some countries worry more about imposing rules about what chemicals can be used by the food industry, other agencies are more permissive, waiting for further scientific evidence.

And according to one Delight article, in the United States there are several chemical compounds that have already been banned in other states but continue to appear in everyday food items like poultry, milk or cereals.

The arsenic in our poultry

The danger in our food

Some of the chemicals are known to be dangerous even in popular culture and arsenic is certainly one of those well-known hazardous elements. But while other states have barred the use of arsenic by farmers, in the US, poultry might still contain traces of arsenic as it is used in chicken feed.

The hormone in our milk

The danger in our food

Synthetic hormones like rBGH and rBST can still be found in US produced milk and other dairy products. Synthetic hormones cause harm to cattle and humans. We not immune to them as they have been linked to several types of cancer.

The dye from our plates

The danger in our food

Dyes are another issue that other countries have reacted to. Colourful food is certainly more appetizing but it’s exactly that what puts consumers at risk. Artificial food dyes can be found in everything form cereals to baked goods, drinks but even meat products and dairy products. Dyes are petroleum based products so think of gasoline the next time you want to buy pretty-coloured food.

Juice coloured with Red Dye No. 40 or macaroni and cheese with Yellow Dye No. 5 and No. 6 can still be found on US store shelves but have been banned in EU countries or products that contain them have to use labeling saying that the substances could have adverse effects.

And one such dangerous chemical, synthetic astaxanthin, can even be found in healthy staple food like salmon, where it is used to give the meat its alluring pink shade.

In the USA, FDA is the regulatory body that regulates the industry and one report, dated back to 2014, shows just how important it is to pay close attention to recent studies that show the effects of chemicals on human consumption. And the substances in our food are not the only ones the put us at risk. Regulating herbicides and fertilizers has also come into public attention as EU countries started banning products used in the US that present unacceptable risks of harm to the environment or human health.

Sylvia Jacob