10 Foods Americans Eat That Are Banned in Other Countries

10 Foods Americans Eat That Are Banned in Other Countries

The world of food ingredients is vast, comprising countless items used across different industries. Although many of these are accepted universally, in some cases, a product considered safe in one region may be banned in another. The below list, based on a similar stance, explores such food ingredients that are commonly accepted in the U.S. but not allowed in other countries.

1. Dough Conditioners

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Dough conditioners are banned in multiple countries across the globe due to their tendency to cause respiratory sensitivity. In addition to this, they are also considered possible carcinogens, i.e., those agents that may lead to cancer in humans. There are two main types of dough conditioners, including potassium bromate and azodicarbonamide. Places like China, India, Europe, and Canada don’t permit their use.

2. High Fructose Corn Syrup

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High fructose corn syrup is in thousands of American foods. Contrary to popular belief, the super-sweet sugar alternative isn’t banned in any countries, but it is restricted in some countries and simply too expensive to use in others. The United States and Mexico have an ongoing dispute about Mexico’s decision to tax imports of the plentiful, controversial ingredient.

3. Propylparaben

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Propylparaben works as a preservative in multiple U.S.-based foods like certain brands of donuts, tortillas, and trail mix. However, it’s banned in the EU, not just in the food but also in the cosmetics industry. Reason? Basically, this ingredient can potentially affect human mating hormones and seminal fluid counts in males. Moreover, it also puts females at a high risk for breast cancer.

4. Brominated Vegetable Oil

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Used as an emulsifier, brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is a common ingredient in sports drinks and citrus-flavored sodas. However, countries like Japan do not allow its usage at all, and rightfully so. BVO comes with a set of severe side effects as it accumulates in human tissue and breast milk. Consequently, it leads to symptoms like memory loss, skin rashes, heart issues, organ damage, etc. The FDA has proposed banning BVO.

5. Ractopamine

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Ractopamine, an animal feed additive, enhances muscle buildup in cows, pigs, and turkeys. While commonly used in the U.S., around 122 countries worldwide are not in its favor. Not only does it lead to major health issues in the animals, but it can also impact human health adversely. Some common side effects include reproductive or cardiovascular damage along with behavioral changes.

6. Synthetic Food Dyes

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Many food manufacturers in the U.S. use artificial colored dyes to add an appealing touch to edibles like candies, drinks, baked goods, etc. However, Europe and Australia do not allow this, realizing the health hazards that this practice may cause. According to research, consuming synthetic food dyes can lead to tumors and hyperactivity, especially in kids.

7. Olestra

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Since olestra is a cholesterol-free fat substitute used in french fries, people may perceive it as a safer option. Even the FDA approved its use in the 1990s. However, the ingredient ban in Canada and the U.K. testifies against this. Some unfavorable consequences of consuming olestra include diarrhea, leaky bowels, deficiency of fat-soluble vitamins, etc.

8. Synthetic Hormones

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Synthetic hormones, especially recombinant somatotropin, are a major ingredient in the dairy industry of the United States. With its use, cows are likely to produce more milk than their usual limit. While it may look beneficial, the bigger picture shows something else. The use of artificial hormones can actually increase the risk of cancer in human beings as it interferes with the insulin-like growth factor 1’s levels.

9. Genetically Modified Organisms

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In the United States, the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is quite common. These primarily include plant products like corn, canola, sugar beets, soybeans, etc. Although regulatory bodies in the country consider these safe to consume, European countries are more cautious about their use.

10. Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene

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Both BHA and BHT are synthetic antioxidants used in food items like cereals, dry mixes, and dehydrated potato products. Their basic function is to prevent the oxidation of fats and oils, prolonging the shelf life of the edibles. However, health concerns like their role as carcinogens and endocrine disruptors may pose a downside.

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Zobia Shazi, Expatsi contributor
+ posts

Zobia Shazi is a freelance writer from Pakistan and travel enthusiast. With a Bachelor's degree in IT and four years of professional writing experience, she's passionate about crafting compelling content for people all over the globe. When she's not busy typing, you can find her reading books in a nice cafe or exploring new places.

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Zobia Shazi, Expatsi contributor
+ posts

Zobia Shazi is a freelance writer from Pakistan and travel enthusiast. With a Bachelor's degree in IT and four years of professional writing experience, she's passionate about crafting compelling content for people all over the globe. When she's not busy typing, you can find her reading books in a nice cafe or exploring new places.