This week Shape magazine published an article about food additives that are still being used in the United States even though these same food additives have been banned in many other countries. Mira Calton (nutritionist) and Jayon Calton (Ph.D.), authors of Rich Food, Poor Food, recommend avoiding foods containing these additives at all costs. Here’s the list!
- Coloring Agents (such as blue 1, blue 2, yellow 5, yellow 6 etc).
- Olestra (Olean)
- Brominated Vegetable Oil
- Potassium Bromate/Brominated Flour
- BHA and BHT
- Synthetic Hormones (rBGH and rBST)
Dr. Mercola discussed the risks associated with coloring agents (food dyes) in his article ‘Are You or Your Family Eating Toxic Dyes?‘. Here’s an excerpt from the article….
Blue #1 (Brilliant Blue) – An unpublished study suggested the possibility that Blue 1 caused kidney tumors in mice. What it’s in: Baked goods, beverages, desert powders, candies, cereal, drugs, and other products.
Blue #2 (Indigo Carmine) – Causes a statistically significant incidence of tumors, particularly brain gliomas, in male rats. What it’s in: Colored beverages, candies, pet food, & other food and drugs.
Citrus Red #2 – It’s toxic to rodents at modest levels and caused tumors of the urinary bladder and possibly other organs. What it’s in: Skins of Florida oranges.
Green #3 (Fast Green) – Caused significant increases in bladder and testes tumors in male rats. What it’s in: Drugs, personal care products, cosmetic products except in eye area, candies, beverages, ice cream, sorbet; ingested drugs, lipsticks, and externally applied cosmetics.
Red #3 (Erythrosine) – Recognized in 1990 by the FDA as a thyroid carcinogen in animals and is banned in cosmetics and externally applied drugs. What it’s in: Sausage casings, oral medication, maraschino cherries, baked goods, candies.
Red #40 (Allura Red) – This is the most-widely used and consumed dye. It may accelerate the appearance of immune-system tumors in mice. It also causes hypersensitivity (allergy-like) reactions in some consumers and might trigger hyperactivity in children. What it’s in: Beverages, bakery goods, dessert powders, candies, cereals, foods, drugs, and cosmetics.
Yellow #5 (Tartrazine) – Yellow 5 causes sometimes-severe hypersensitivity reactions and might trigger hyperactivity and other behavioral effects in children. What it’s in: Pet foods, numerous bakery goods, beverages, dessert powders, candies, cereals, gelatin desserts, and many other foods, as well as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
Yellow #6 (Sunset Yellow) – Caused adrenal tumors in animals and occasionally causes severe hypersensitivity reactions. What it’s in: Color bakery goods, cereals, beverages, dessert powders, candies, gelatin deserts, sausage, cosmetics and drugs.
Olestra or Olean is a fat substitute used in fat-free foods such as fat-free potato chips. In a two week study by Proctor and Gamble, consuming 8 grams of olestra per day (equal to 16 olestra-containing potato chips) resulted in a dramatic decrease in fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, cartatenoids, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene in humans. Other studies show that this depletion is augmented when olestra is eaten with meals. Olestra has been shown to increase cancer rates in rats. Olestra is also associated with gastrointestinal disturbances such as diarrhea, loose stools, nausea, and gas.
Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is an emulsifier that contains the chemical flame retardant, bromine. 10% of beverages sold in the United States contain brominated vegetable oil, including Mountain Dew, Powerade, Fanta Orange, Fresca, Gatorade, Squirt, and Sunkist Peach Soda. Without Brominated Vegetable Oil the flavorings in these drinks would not remain suspended in the drink; they would separate from the liquid and float to the surface. It is banned in some countries because it tends to build up in the body. Brominated Vegetable Oil is links to impaired neurological development, reduced fertility, early onset of puberty, and altered thyroid hormones.
Potassium Bromate/Brominated flour is found in many baked goods, including buns used at fast food restaurants. The FDA recognizes that this is a dangerous additive. Instead of banning this additive, the FDA simply recommends that bakeries “avoid” using it. The International Agency for Research on Cancer categorizes Potassium Bromate as a 2B additive (possibly carcinogenic to humans). The World Health Organization recommended the removal of Potassium Bromate from all foods in 1993, the FDA ignored this suggestion. The ingredient was even mentioned on the sci-fi show “The Fringe”. Check out this dialog!
Walter, picking up box of “Toaster Pastries” and muttering to himself: “Corn starch, soy lecithin, potassium bromate… potassium bromate?!!!! This supermarket is trying to kill us! You — potassium bromate, do you know what that is?”
Supermarket worker: “Are you OK, sir?”
Walter: “It is known to induce renal cell tumors and mesotheliomas of the peritoneum! Do you know what you are putting into our bodies? Death! Delicious, strawberry-flavored death!”
Supermarket worker: “OK, I’m calling security.”
Azodicarbonamide is found in many commercial breads and baked goods; it’s a bleaching agent and dough strengthener. It’s also an anti-foaming agent that is also used in plastics, photography, and electronics. Some countries have banned this food additive because it was causing asthmatic and allergic reactions in humans. Adding azodicarbonamide to foods is a criminal offense in Singapore!
BHA and BHT are chemicals used to preserve processed foods. These chemicals are linked to hyperactivity (especially in children). It’s quite concerning that BHA and BHT are considered “safe” by the FDA, yet the United States Department of Health and Human Services considers these same chemicals to be carcinogenic!
rBGH or rBST is a genetically modified bovine growth hormone that is used to increase milk production in cows. Milk from rBGH/rBST-treated cows contains a higher amount of the hormone IGF-1. Elevated IGF-1 levels are associated with numerous form of cancer (such as breast, prostate, colon, lung cancer) and an increase in the rate of fraternal twin births in humans. Milk from rBGH/rBST-treated cows has lower nutritional value, contains an increased amount of antibiotics, and contains an increased amount of pus from the infected udders of cows.
Arsenic is a chemical that is found in conventional chicken. It is used in chicken feed to promote growth, to decrease infections, improve efficiency in feeding chickens, and increase pigmentation (resulting in fresher looking chicken in the grocery stores). Arsenic is also found in rice and rice-based products (such as infant cereal and rice milk). Rice farmers use poultry litter that comes from arsenic-ingesting chickens to fertilize their crops. Poultry litter is a mixture of chicken manure, chicken feathers, and chicken bedding materials that are remaining once the chickens are sent to the slaughterhouse. Arsenic is classified as being carcinogenic by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but is classified as being safe for human consumption in small amounts. As a side note, recent studies have found that one-third of feather samples from chickens in the US contain diphenhydramine (the active ingredient in Benadryl) and most feather samples from chickens in the US contain caffeine and/or tylenol. That’s right! Chicken farmers often feed their chickens diphenhydramine to calm the chickens down, and caffeine to keep the chickens awake so that they can spend more time eating! Yet another reason to stick to organic, pastured chicken!
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