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Common U.S. foods that are banned in other countries

  • Common U.S. foods that are banned in other countries

    Consumers in the United States put their trust in organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration and Department of Agriculture to keep packaged foods, fish, and livestock production safe. But to what standards?

    Many American food additives (think flame retardants and suspected carcinogens) and production standards that have been approved domestically are banned or strictly regulated abroad. This is all in addition to the U.S.'s liberal policies on genetically modified organisms, which are more restricted or banned outright in other countries as well.

    What chemicals are lurking in the ingredients of some of America’s favorite foods? What production practices are standardized in the United States but illegal in other parts of the world?

    Click through Stacker’s list to discover 30 everyday American food products with ingredients that are banned in other countries.

    You may also like: What the average American eats in a year

  • Farm-raised salmon

    People in the United States love their salmon. However, farm-raised salmon available in America is fed astaxanthin to give it its coral color. Salmon containing this petrochemical is banned for consumption in Australia and New Zealand.

  • Dairy with rBST or rBGH hormones

    Milk in the United States, unless marked otherwise, is treated with either rBST or rBGH, an artificial hormone that stimulates milk production. The FDA says there is no difference in the milk produced by cows treated with the hormone, but countries like Canada and those in the European Union ban it.

  • Mountain Dew

    The citrus-flavored soft drink uses brominated vegetable oil as an emulsifier. BVO is banned in Japan and the European Union because it contains bromine, the element found in brominated flame retardants, which can build up in the body and potentially lead to memory loss, as well as skin and nerve problems.

  • Chicken that's been chlorinated

    Chicken produced in the United States gets washed in chlorine to reduce its risk of spreading disease and illness like salmonella. This practice is banned in the United Kingdom and the European Union because it promotes unsanitary farming practices.

  • Meat with ractopamine

    In the United States, farmers use ractopamine to increase lean muscle growth in livestock, including in 40% to 60% of American pigs. Elsewhere, 160 nations—including the European Union, Russia, and China—ban the use of the drug in meat production.

  • Little Debbie Swiss Rolls

    The popular dessert in the United States contains food dyes Yellow 5 and Red 40. While they now are permitted in the European Union, they have to carry warnings that they cause adverse effects in children. They are also banned in foods for infants and young children. No such warning is required domestically. Norway and Austria have banned the chocolate treats outright.

  • Arby's Sourdough Breakfast Bread, croissant, and French toast Sticks

    The fast-food chain uses the chemical azodicarbonamide as a whitening agent and dough conditioner in its baked goods. Although its use is decreasing in the United States because of concerns that it is a carcinogen, the FDA still permits it. It is banned in Europe.

  • Frosted Flakes, Honey Bunches of Oats, and Rice Krispies

    These popular breakfast cereals contain BHT, a flavor enhancer, which has long been studied for its potential carcinogenic properties; the evidence is inconclusive. It is banned in Japan and the European Union.

  • Coffee-Mate

    Trans fats like the partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils in Coffee-Mate are linked to heart disease and were officially banned in the U.S. as of June 18, 2018. However, they still linger in the U.S. food supply. They are also banned in many other countries such as Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, and Denmark.

  • Stove Top stuffing

    You can make stuffing in just five minutes with this popular Kraft product. But the mix contains preservatives BHA and BHT, which are suspected to be carcinogenic and to impair blood clotting. This has caused these preservatives to be banned in the United Kingdom, Japan, and several European countries.

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