By Carla Coriaty-Hulla, RDN CDN
Would you compromise on your child’s education? Would you compromise the quality of medical care your family receives? No. Why do so many Americans compromise the food they feed their children? American food culture has taken a nose dive for the worse over the past 50 years. However the past 15-20 years are by far the most offensive. Large food companies are trying to convince the public that their foods are “healthy” because they contain dietary fiber or are “low in fat”. Problem is our children are viewing these ads and learning improper nutrition. Where is the accountability? What they won’t mention for obvious reasons is, those same health claiming foods also contain ingredients not legal in other countries.
Food Dyes such as red number 40 and yellow number 5 (the list goes on) are banned in Europe for the evidence that they are linked to ADHD, migraines, food allergies, genetic alterations, and cancer in numerous studies. It is no secret there is an increase in Food Allergies, ADHD and cancer. It is also no secret that Americans are among the least healthy culture in the world. Yet parents continue to feed their children foods with known toxins. Other “food” chemicals allowed in US that are banned in Europe include potassium bromate, Olestra, BHT/BHA, rBGH/rBST, brominated vegetable oil, and arsenic as reported by ABC news June 26 2013 on the internet. Foods such as nutrigrain bars, Mac and Cheese, baked goods, rice, cereals, milk, chips, mountain dew and more, sold in the US, contain these toxic ingredients, yet the majority of parents are still purchasing these foods for their children. Weekly, we commonly see ads and coupons for these offensive foods promoting and promising good nutrition in newspapers and circulars. Healthy children are portrayed in these ads and Americans are brainwashed into believing them. Where does it end?
You can make a difference by purchasing foods that don’t contain these toxins as well as common GMOs. Eventually supply and demand will reduce the need for those toxic foods. Until then, we all must continue to educate our children about the truth regarding nutrition. Explain to them why companies lie regarding the value of their foods. Children listen. In addition, if we are loud enough food companies will listen too. Companies such as Kraft and Kellogg who have been trusted to supply “child friendly foods” will have no choice but to remove the known toxins and give smart Americans what they ask for – wholesome healthy toxic free foods.
Known Toxic Ingredients Allowed in US, Yet Banned in Europe and Other Countries
Artificial Food Dyes such as red no 40, yellow no 5, etc. are banned in Europe since they have been linked to genotoxicity, ADHD, and cancer. Enough said.
Bromated Vegetable Oil or BVO functions as an emulsifier in soda and sports drinks. Unfortunately this ingredient’s vapor is proven to be corrosive so when breathed in can cause lesions which can lead to lung cancer. This ingredient, like chlorine and fluoride, also blocks iodine absorption which leads to thyroid issues.
Potassium Bromate, which strengthens dough, is commonly used in pancakes and breads sold in USA. Banned in China, Europe, Canada, Brazil and more, Potassium Bromate is proven to cause cancer in rats and mice. The US has been using this toxic ingredient in baked goods since 1914.
Azodicarbonamide has received recent attention since it is found in breads used to make the famous $5 Foot Long at the sandwich chain Subway. This ingredient, banned in Australia and UK as well as many European countries is plastic foam used to make yoga mats. Unfortunately, Subway is not the only place to buy bread containing Azodicarbonamide. This foam ingredient is also found in almost 500 foods in your local supermarket.
Olestra is fat substitute is banned in the U.K. and Canada because it causes a deficiency of fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoids. This ingredient found in chips and some packaged baked goods was popular in the 1990’s when the “fat free” fad was commonly accepted.
BHT/BHA, used to prevent rancidity of fats, commonly used in cereals. These ingredients have been found to cause infertility and cancer in rats. BHT and BHA are banned in Japan, the UK, and most of Europe.
rBGH/rBST Recombinant bovine growth hormone is a synthetic (man-made) hormone that is marketed to dairy farmers to increase milk production in cows. It has been used in the United States since it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993, but its use is not permitted in the European Union, Canada, and some other countries due to the potential risks. This is one way the milk our kids drink is NOT the same milk our grandparents drank.
The difference between Europe and USA is that Europe follows the “precautionary principal” when approving food additives considered safe by food companies. In Europe, all new additives are assumed to be harmful until they are scientifically proven to be safe for human consumption. The reason why many additives we are used to seeing are banned in most other countries is because food manufacturers have not been able to prove their safety. On the other hand, in the USA, we follow the “generally recognized as safe principal”, which means we assume that a new food additive is safe and can be added to food until a scientific study proves it is not. Europe places the burden on the manufacturer; USA places the burden on the consumer. Of course, once these additives get added to our food in the USA, they are nearly impossible to pull off the market. Until the bottom line is affected.