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Food Additives and Other US Ingredients Banned in Other Countries

Food Additives and Other US Ingredients Banned in Other Countries

Some American foods don’t meet other countries’ safety standards

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From fast food cult-favorites to iconic cereals and sodas, some American food staples can be spotted all over the planet. However, in some places, select American products may be banned from supermarket shelves due to their ingredients. Here are things found in American food that while legal in the U.S., are entirely or partially illegal elsewhere.

Brominated vegetable oil (BVO)

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Health concerns surrounding brominated vegetable oil (BVO), a food additive found in sodas, stems from one ingredient: bromine. Bromine has been shown to irritate the skin and mucous membranes. There are other reports of even scarier health effects related to ingesting large amounts of BVO. In one case, a man who drank 2 to 4 liters of soda a day experienced memory loss, loss of muscle coordination and more. BVO has been banned by several countries and the European Union. In the U.S., the FDA limits the concentration of BVO that can be used in a beverage.

Genetically modified fruits and vegetables

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Many of the fruits and vegetables you see in American grocery stores have been genetically modified. GMOs are created for a number of reasons including disease resistance, nutritional quality, pest resistance and other factors affecting farming and distribution. The European Union has a strict legal regime in place for GMOs. GMOs and food or feed made from GMOs can be marketed in or imported into the EU, so long as they are authorized after passing strict evaluation and safety assessment requirements and meet standards on a case by case basis. In Sweden, GMOs are similarly limited and almost exclusive to animal fodder products. One of the most restrictive places for GMOs is Norway, where several EU-approved GMOs are illegal.

RBGH or rBST growth hormone

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Bovine growth hormone (BGH), also known as bovine somatotropin (BST) is a natural growth hormone found in cows. Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) or recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) refers to bovine growth hormone that is made in a lab using genetic technology. Studies have shown rBGH and rBST to cause adverse health effects in cows. However, according to the American Cancer Society, evidence for potential harm to humans is inconclusive. Although use of these chemicals is still approved in the U.S., many large grocery store chains no longer carry milk from cattle treated with rBGH. Use of rBST is banned in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the EU.

Meat fed with certain feed additives

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Ractopamine is a feed additive banned in at least 160 countries, including China, Russia and several others across Europe. It’s used to induce weight gain in pigs, cattle and turkeys. According to the Center for Food Safety, more pigs have been adversely affected by ractopamine than by any other animal drug. Safety concerns for animals include high stress levels, lameness, hyperactivity, broken limbs and even death. To avoid these products in the U.S., buy organic. In order to be certified organic, producers must feed livestock agricultural feed products that are 100% organic.

Potassium bromate

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An oxidizing agent used as a food additive when bread-making, potassium bromate has been banned in the European Union, Canada, China, South Korea and some South American countries. Use in the U.S. remains legal, but California’s Proposition 65 law dictates that bromated flour must be labeled as a carcinogen. Several restaurants in the U.S. have voluntarily cut potassium bromate from their ingredients, including Panera Bread, which added potassium bromate to its so-called “No-No List” along with BHA, BHT, ADA and other potentially harmful ingredients.

Carrageenan

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Used as an emulsifier, stabilizer or thickener in foods, Carrageenan is naturally occurring and extracted from red seaweed. The additive is often found in dairy products like ice cream, chocolate milk, salad dressings, soy milk and some meat products too. Regulated by the FDA in the U.S., carrageenan cannot be used in baby formulas in the European Union. However, a 2014 World Health Organization committee concluded that the use of carrageenan in infant formula at concentrations up to 1000 mg/L is not of concern.

Chlorine-washed poultry

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You might think of chlorine as what cleans your pool, but some of your food might be washed with it too. Chlorine can be a cost-effective way of cleaning foodborne bacteria and other contaminants off poultry, fruits or veggies. In the U.S., regulations for the process are determined by the FDA. The European Union maintains measures that prohibit the use of any substance other than water to remove contamination from animal products unless the substance has been approved.

Yellow No. 5

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There are nine certified color additives approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in food. In the U.S., foods containing Yellow No. 5 must properly identify it on their label so consumers sensitive to the dye who experience common allergy symptoms like skin irritation and hives may avoid it. Although not entirely illegal in the European Union and the United Kingdom, foods containing Yellow No. 5 must come with a warning label to inform consumers the food color “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”

Yellow No. 6

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There are two forms of yellow on the FDA-approved list of food colors. Yellow No. 6, known as Sunset Yellow, may be found in cereals, snack foods, baked goods, gelatins, beverages, dessert powders, crackers and sauces. Foods containing Yellow No. 6 must also come with a warning label in the European Union and the United Kingdom.

Red No. 40

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Known as Allura Red, Red No. 40 is another FDA-certified color additive commonly found in cereal, beverages, puddings, dairy products and confections. Like Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6, Red No. 40 must come with a warning label in the European Union and the United Kingdom to inform consumers the food color “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”

Azodicarbonamide (ADA)

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When bread is baked using azodicarbonamide (ADA), a whitening agent and dough conditioner, a breakdown chemical known as semicarbazide (SEM) forms. At high levels, SEM has been shown to increase the incidence of tumors when fed to female mice. In 2016, the FDA conducted a comprehensive exposure assessment of SEM and set recommended exposure estimates. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assessed ADA’s risk factors in 2005, noting that SEM exposure should be limited where possible, and the European Union banned this use of ADA.

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)

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Reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in experimental animals, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) is a preservative used in some cereals, potato chips and other snack foods. In the U.S., limitations are set on how much total BHA and sister compound BHT (measured in parts per million) can be included in the food products. In the European Union, BHA is even more heavily regulated.

Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)

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Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), a sister compound to BHA, is often used alongside BHA in packaged snack foods and breads as a preservative. In the U.S., BHT, like BHA, is “generally recognized as safe for use in food when the total content of antioxidants is not over 0.02 percent of fat or oil content.” BHT is permitted abroad but heavily regulated and limited as a food additive.

Olestra

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Olestra, also known as Olean, is an additive used in place of fats and oils in prepackaged savory snacks and ready-to-heat unpopped popcorn kernels. In the U.S., specified amounts of vitamins A, D, E and K must be added to foods containing olestra to compensate for the additive’s interference with absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. The compound famously entered the food scene in the mid-90s as a big diet trend, only to lead consumers to experience many less-than-desirable side effects. Olestra is not available in Canada as well as other countries.

BPA

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Studies have shown BPA, a chemical commonly used in polycarbonate plastics that store food and beverages, seeps into the foods and beverages they contain. Health concerns caused by exposure to BPA include possible effects on the brain and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children; effects on children's behavior and a possible link between BPA and increased blood pressure. The FDA has said that BPA is safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods. However, in France, the use of BPA in all food and beverage packaging and utensils is banned. Ditching plastic containers is one way to be more sustainable and lower your carbon footprint.

Propylparaben

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11 Food Ingredients Banned Outside the U.S. That We Eat

Some experts say there's no reason to worry if you eat these foods.

June 26, 2013 — -- intro: A recently published list of foods banned in countries outside the U.S. has riled the plates of many in the food industry.

Last week, Buzzfeed published a list of 8 ingredients banned outside the U.S. that are found in foods in America. The list was derived from the book, Rich Food, Poor Food: The Ultimate Grocery Purchasing System, written by husband and wife team Jayson Calton, who has a Ph.D. in nutrition, and Mira Calton, a licensed certified nutritionist.

Said Mira Calton: "We call it our GPS of grocery purchasing system: how to identify dangerous ingredients -- so people can shop safe and smart in the grocery store."

The book includes a list of banned foods and dangerous foods, which they call "poor food."

Calton said manufacturers are not putting these ingredients in their food to be "bad people."

"It might have been part of their original formula and sometimes they don't know," Calton said.

The Food and Drug Administration assures the public that despite the frenzy over the list of ingredients banned in some countries outside the U.S., it is doing its job of monitoring food safety.

"As part of FDA's overall commitment to ensure the safety of the food supply, the agency uses an extensive, science-based process to evaluate the safety of food additives," the agency said in a statement to ABC News. "The law requires that the FDA determine there is reasonable certainty that an additive does not cause harm when it is used as intended. The agency continues to monitor the science on food additives and is prepared to take appropriate action if there are safety concerns. When determining that a food or ingredient is 'generally recognized as safe' or GRAS for its intended use in food, the same quantity and quality of evidence is required as is needed to approve a food additive."

Derek Lowe, a chemist who has a Ph.D. from Duke University, said the list is an example of "chemophobia." He told ABC News his reaction to the viral online list was "incredulity and revulsion."

"The thing is, I'm not reflexively saying people should eat all the food additives they can find. I don't myself. But the amount of understanding in the article was so minimal, it really pushed my buttons as a scientist," Lowe said.

The Caltons said they are not calling on the FDA to ban these ingredients, but they said "all of the ingredients on the list pose a potential danger to consumers and we feel the consumer should be made aware so that they can make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to buy a product with these ingredients."

Julie Jones, a professor emeritus with St. Catherine University in Minnesota and author of the textbook, Food Safety, said what drives one country to ban a food and not another often has to do with as much politics as it does science.

If one believes Paracelsus's principle, "the dose makes the poison," Jones said she believes these products have gone through the correct due diligence in the U.S.

"We have science and politics and they are different in each country," Jones said.

Here are 11 ingredients noted as banned in other countries and what some experts have to say about them:

quicklist:1category: Nutrigrain Barsmedia: 19458499title: Blue #1 food coloringtext: Banned in Norway, Finland and France, Blue #1 and Blue #2 can be found in candy, cereal, drinks and pet food in the U.S., the Caltons say.

Kellogg's did not reply to multiple requests for comment about its use of Blue #1 listed as an ingredient in some Nutrigrain bars.

Michael Pariza, professor emeritus of food science and past director of Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said most food dyes are not dangerous, with the exception of Yellow #5, but they can influence our perception of food -- for better or worse.

"Taste, appearance and smell all go together. You can have the most fantastic, nutritious thing in the world, but if it looks bad and smells bad, you're not going to eat it," he said.

Blue #1 was at one point banned in several other European countries, but the EU later certified it as safe, said Lowe. Norway banned almost all food dyes from 1978 until 2001, but since then, they have had virtually the same regulations as the EU, he added.

Lowe said synthesized compounds, when used in food, "are often things that are effective in small amounts, because they're so expensive," as is the case with artificial dyes.

"People see the bright colors in cake icing and sugary cereals and figure that the stuff must be glopped on like paint, but paint doesn't have very much dye or pigment in it, either," Lowe writes in his blog.

quicklist:2category: M&Msmedia: 19458657title: Blue #2 food coloringtext: "Until the twentieth century, food coloring was obtained from natural sources," Jayson and Mira Calton write in "Rich Food, Poor Food." "People gathered spices, like saffron and turmeric, to add rich hues to their otherwise bland-colored foods. While this method may have been somewhat limiting in shades, at least it was safe. Today, most artificial colors are made from coal tar."

Blue #2 is listed as an ingredient in Mars' M&Ms. In a statement from Mars, the company said, "Around the globe there can be slightly different formulations and products available based on both local requirements and consumer preferences. All the colors we use in our products, no matter where they are sold, comply with our own strict internal quality and safety requirements as well as all applicable laws, regulations and safety assessments relating to colors added to food. All colors are declared on the label in accordance with applicable national laws and regulations and always meet the highest safety standards."

Lowe said the concern about blue food dye's connection to brain cancer is "unproven," referring to studies in the 1980s with Blue #2. Lowe said rats were fed the dye over a long period in much larger concentrations -- up to 2 percent of their total food intake -- than even the most dedicated junk-food eater could encounter.

"Gliomas were seen in the male rats, but with no dose-response, and at levels consistent with historical controls in the particular rat strain. No one has ever been able to find any real-world connection," Lowe wrote.

quicklist:3category: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese media: 19458695 title: Yellow #5 (Tartazine), Yellow #6 food coloring text: Yellow #5 is banned in Norway and Austria due to compounds benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl, the Caltons say.

"Six of the eleven studies on yellow #5 showed that it caused genotoxicity, a deterioration of the cell's genetic material with potential to mutate healthy DNA," the book, "Rich Foods, Poor Foods," states.

Companies in the U.S. are required to list Yellow #5 in their ingredients because some people have sensitivity to it.

"Companies are so sensitive about allergies, but peanut allergies would be far more common than Tartazine," Pariza said.

Yellow #6 is banned in Norway and Finland, the Caltons say, but Lowe said the dye is approved across the EU.

Lowe said benzidine and 4-minobiphenyl are two different names for the same compound, which is known as a human carcinogen.

"But it's not a component of any food dye, certainly not of yellow #5, and it's not even any part of its chemical structure," Lowe said.

A spokeswoman for Kraft provided a statement to ABC News, stating, "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority. We carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold. So in the U.S., we only use ingredients that are approved and deemed safe for food use by the Food and Drug Administration."

The International Food Information Council has said food ingredients are "carefully regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that foods containing them are safe to eat and are accurately labeled."

quicklist:4category: Kraft Catalina Dressingmedia: 19458707title: Red #40text: "Red #40 may contain the carcinogenic contaminant p-Cresidine and is thought to cause tumors of the immune system," according to "Rich Food, Poor Food". "In the UK, it is not recommended for children," the Caltons write, but it is approved for use in the EU.

The ingredient can be found in fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, grenadine, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy and other products, the Caltons say.

Lowe said he can't find evidence for risk of tumors due to Red #40 and Cresidine "is certainly not a contaminant in the dyestuff" but is one pure compound.

"There is a possibility for cresidinesulfonic acid to be produced as a metabolite, but that's a very different substance than Cresidine itself," Lowe said.

Jones said high amounts of some ingredients could be damaging to some people, but that depends on the amount of consumption and the content of one's diet in general.

"Unless you are crazy and you do drink 8 liters of pop a day, your diet is so disordered already, no wonder what you eat is toxic-- eating things in a way that never intended to be eaten," she said.

Kraft said, "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority" and the company "carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold."

quicklist:5category: Mountain Dewmedia: 19458718title: Brominated vegetable oil text: Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, acts as an emulsifier in soda and sports drinks, preventing the flavoring from separating and floating to the surface. The ingredient is banned more than 100 countries because it contains bromine, a chemical whose vapors can be corrosive or toxic, the Caltons say.

Aurora Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for PepsiCo, which owns Mountain Dew, said, "We take consumer safety and product integrity seriously and we can assure you that Mountain Dew is safe. As standard practice, we constantly evaluate our formulas and ingredients to ensure they comply with all regulations and meet the high quality standards our consumers expect."

Lowe said the same chemical dangers of consuming a bromine directly can be said of chlorine.

Bromine-containing compounds can indeed cause bad reactions in people but not because bromine is a corrosive gas, he said.

"When a bromine atom is bonded to a carbon, as it is in BVO, it's no longer bromine-the-pure-element, any more than the chlorine in table salt is the World War I poison gas, or the phosphorus in your DNA is the burning white phosphorus found in military tracer shells," Lowe said.

quicklist:6category: media: 19458532title: Azodicarbonamidetext: This ingredient, which can bleach flour, is banned in Australia, the U.K. and many European countries, said the Caltons, who call it an "asthma-causing" allergen. Up to 45 parts per million is considered safe in the U.S. and it's found in a wide range of breads and baked goods here.

While Lowe acknowledges the chemical can be used to "foam" foamed plastics, "the conditions inside hot plastic, you will be glad to hear, are quite different from those inside warm bread dough," he said. In that environment, azodicarbonamide doesn't react to make birurea - it turns into several gaseous products, which are what blow up the bubbles of the foam, which is not its purpose in bread dough.

While repeated or prolonged contact to the chemical may cause asthma and skin sensitization, Lowe said that refers to the pure chemical and not 45 parts per million in uncooked flour.

"If you're handling drums of the stuff at the plastics plant, you should be wearing protective gear. If you're eating a roll, no," Lowe writes.

quicklist: 7category: flatbread and bagel chipsmedia: 19458610 title: Potassium Bromate (Bromated flour)text: Potassium bromate, which strengthens dough, contains bromine, is also in brominated vegetable oil.

"The good news is that American bread manufacturers tell us that it disappears from the product during baking and deem that potassium bromate is safe as there is only negligible residue," the Caltons write in their book. "However, the pastry chefs in Paris disagree. In fact, government regulatory bodies in Europe, Canada, China, and many other regions have banned the use of this additive. In California, if potassium bromate has been added, a product must carry a warning label."

Lowe points out that bromate is different from bromide and bromine.

"Chloride is the anion in table salt, but it's also the anion in hydrochloric acid. Hypochlorite anion is laundry bleach," said Lowe. "Perchlorate anion is in solid rocket fuel. They're all different that's the point of chemistry."

quicklist: 8category: Ruffles Light media: 19458510title: Olestra (Olean) text: Olestra fat substitute is banned in the U.K. and Canada because it causes a depletion of fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoid, the Caltons say, "robbing us of vital micronutrients that our foods should be delivering."

It is found in Ruffles Light and Lay's WOW chips. Frito-Lay did not return a request for comment about its use of Olestra.

Lowe acknowledges that the non-caloric fat substitute interferes with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, "but potato chips are not a very good source of vitamins to start with," he writes.

He also points out that Olestra is found only in two brands of potato chips, "since it was a major failure in the market."

"And vitamin absorption can be messed with by all kinds of things, including other vitamins (folic acid supplements can interfere with B12 absorption, just to pick one). But I can agree with the plan of not eating the stuff: I think that if you're going to eat potato chips, eat a reasonable amount of the real ones," he writes in his blog.

quicklist: 9category: Chexmedia: 19458520title: Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) text:

Banned in England, and other European countries, "these waxy solids act as preservatives to prevent food from becoming rancid and developing objectionable odors," the Caltons write.

The state of California lists this ingredient as a possible carcinogen.

General Mills did not respond to a request about its use of BHT in Chex cereals.

Lowe said that BHT is approved by the EU and, "Animal studies notwithstanding, attempts to correlate human exposure to these compounds with any types of cancer have always come up negative."

quicklist:category: Some dairy media: 19458685title: rBGH and rBSTtext: Recombinant bovine growth hormone and recombinant bovine somatotropin, a synthetic version of bovine growth hormone, can be found in nonorganic dairy products unless noted on the packaging.

"However, several regions, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the European Union, have banned rBGH and rBST because of their dangerous impacts on both humanand bovine health," the Caltons say.

American dairy producer, Stonyfield, opposes the use of rBST because of economics and cow health.

"An increase in milk supply generally leads to a drop in the price paid to farmers," Stonyfield says on its website. "Price drops have put many farms out of business."

In 1993, the FDA approved the use of rBST in dairy cows based on a review of existing scientific studies.

Beth Meyer, a spokeswoman for the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council Inc (ADADC), a regional organization representing dairy farmers in New York, northern New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania, said over the last 20 years rBST has been heavily researched and separate reviews by the National Institutes of Health, the joint World Health Organization/Food And Agriculture Organization Committee, the American Medical Association, as well as regulatory agencies in Canada and the European Union have corroborated the FDA's conclusion.

"RBST is one of many management tools used by U.S. dairy farmers to provide a safe, affordable food supply," she said.

Canada and several European countries have affirmed that milk produced from rBST cows is safe for human consumption. These countries don't allow the sale of rBST to local farmers for reasons including economics, social customs and general opposition to technological advances used to promote efficient food production, not human health concerns.

Bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is given to dairy cattle to increase milk production, Lowe said, and BGH levels in the milk of treated cows are not higher than in untreated ones.

"Secondly, BGH is not active as a growth hormone in humans - it's selective for the cow receptor, not the human one," he said.

Lowe points out BGH was banned in some countries due to animal welfare concerns. "As far as human health, there doesn't seem to be any evidence it's bad for humans," he said.

quicklist:category: Chicken feed media: 19458620title: Arsenic text:

The Caltons warn about traces of arsenic, which has been banned in all foods in the EU, that can be found in some chicken feed.

But the National Chicken Council says chickens raised for meat or broilers (for meat production) are no longer given any feed additives containing arsenic.

"Broilers used to be given a product called Roxarsone which contained trace amounts of arsenic, but it was pulled from the market in 2011 and is no longer manufactured. No other products containing arsenic are currently fed to broilers in the U.S." said Tom Super, spokesman for the council.

Lowe points out that 100 parts per billion of inorganic arsenic have been found in white rice, though he said that doesn't pose a human health risk.

Arsenic can be found in groundwater supplies in a number of countries, according to the World Health Organization.

"It's very hard to have a diet anywhere in the world that doesn't have a trace amount of arsenic," Jones said.


11 Food Ingredients Banned Outside the U.S. That We Eat

Some experts say there's no reason to worry if you eat these foods.

June 26, 2013 — -- intro: A recently published list of foods banned in countries outside the U.S. has riled the plates of many in the food industry.

Last week, Buzzfeed published a list of 8 ingredients banned outside the U.S. that are found in foods in America. The list was derived from the book, Rich Food, Poor Food: The Ultimate Grocery Purchasing System, written by husband and wife team Jayson Calton, who has a Ph.D. in nutrition, and Mira Calton, a licensed certified nutritionist.

Said Mira Calton: "We call it our GPS of grocery purchasing system: how to identify dangerous ingredients -- so people can shop safe and smart in the grocery store."

The book includes a list of banned foods and dangerous foods, which they call "poor food."

Calton said manufacturers are not putting these ingredients in their food to be "bad people."

"It might have been part of their original formula and sometimes they don't know," Calton said.

The Food and Drug Administration assures the public that despite the frenzy over the list of ingredients banned in some countries outside the U.S., it is doing its job of monitoring food safety.

"As part of FDA's overall commitment to ensure the safety of the food supply, the agency uses an extensive, science-based process to evaluate the safety of food additives," the agency said in a statement to ABC News. "The law requires that the FDA determine there is reasonable certainty that an additive does not cause harm when it is used as intended. The agency continues to monitor the science on food additives and is prepared to take appropriate action if there are safety concerns. When determining that a food or ingredient is 'generally recognized as safe' or GRAS for its intended use in food, the same quantity and quality of evidence is required as is needed to approve a food additive."

Derek Lowe, a chemist who has a Ph.D. from Duke University, said the list is an example of "chemophobia." He told ABC News his reaction to the viral online list was "incredulity and revulsion."

"The thing is, I'm not reflexively saying people should eat all the food additives they can find. I don't myself. But the amount of understanding in the article was so minimal, it really pushed my buttons as a scientist," Lowe said.

The Caltons said they are not calling on the FDA to ban these ingredients, but they said "all of the ingredients on the list pose a potential danger to consumers and we feel the consumer should be made aware so that they can make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to buy a product with these ingredients."

Julie Jones, a professor emeritus with St. Catherine University in Minnesota and author of the textbook, Food Safety, said what drives one country to ban a food and not another often has to do with as much politics as it does science.

If one believes Paracelsus's principle, "the dose makes the poison," Jones said she believes these products have gone through the correct due diligence in the U.S.

"We have science and politics and they are different in each country," Jones said.

Here are 11 ingredients noted as banned in other countries and what some experts have to say about them:

quicklist:1category: Nutrigrain Barsmedia: 19458499title: Blue #1 food coloringtext: Banned in Norway, Finland and France, Blue #1 and Blue #2 can be found in candy, cereal, drinks and pet food in the U.S., the Caltons say.

Kellogg's did not reply to multiple requests for comment about its use of Blue #1 listed as an ingredient in some Nutrigrain bars.

Michael Pariza, professor emeritus of food science and past director of Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said most food dyes are not dangerous, with the exception of Yellow #5, but they can influence our perception of food -- for better or worse.

"Taste, appearance and smell all go together. You can have the most fantastic, nutritious thing in the world, but if it looks bad and smells bad, you're not going to eat it," he said.

Blue #1 was at one point banned in several other European countries, but the EU later certified it as safe, said Lowe. Norway banned almost all food dyes from 1978 until 2001, but since then, they have had virtually the same regulations as the EU, he added.

Lowe said synthesized compounds, when used in food, "are often things that are effective in small amounts, because they're so expensive," as is the case with artificial dyes.

"People see the bright colors in cake icing and sugary cereals and figure that the stuff must be glopped on like paint, but paint doesn't have very much dye or pigment in it, either," Lowe writes in his blog.

quicklist:2category: M&Msmedia: 19458657title: Blue #2 food coloringtext: "Until the twentieth century, food coloring was obtained from natural sources," Jayson and Mira Calton write in "Rich Food, Poor Food." "People gathered spices, like saffron and turmeric, to add rich hues to their otherwise bland-colored foods. While this method may have been somewhat limiting in shades, at least it was safe. Today, most artificial colors are made from coal tar."

Blue #2 is listed as an ingredient in Mars' M&Ms. In a statement from Mars, the company said, "Around the globe there can be slightly different formulations and products available based on both local requirements and consumer preferences. All the colors we use in our products, no matter where they are sold, comply with our own strict internal quality and safety requirements as well as all applicable laws, regulations and safety assessments relating to colors added to food. All colors are declared on the label in accordance with applicable national laws and regulations and always meet the highest safety standards."

Lowe said the concern about blue food dye's connection to brain cancer is "unproven," referring to studies in the 1980s with Blue #2. Lowe said rats were fed the dye over a long period in much larger concentrations -- up to 2 percent of their total food intake -- than even the most dedicated junk-food eater could encounter.

"Gliomas were seen in the male rats, but with no dose-response, and at levels consistent with historical controls in the particular rat strain. No one has ever been able to find any real-world connection," Lowe wrote.

quicklist:3category: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese media: 19458695 title: Yellow #5 (Tartazine), Yellow #6 food coloring text: Yellow #5 is banned in Norway and Austria due to compounds benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl, the Caltons say.

"Six of the eleven studies on yellow #5 showed that it caused genotoxicity, a deterioration of the cell's genetic material with potential to mutate healthy DNA," the book, "Rich Foods, Poor Foods," states.

Companies in the U.S. are required to list Yellow #5 in their ingredients because some people have sensitivity to it.

"Companies are so sensitive about allergies, but peanut allergies would be far more common than Tartazine," Pariza said.

Yellow #6 is banned in Norway and Finland, the Caltons say, but Lowe said the dye is approved across the EU.

Lowe said benzidine and 4-minobiphenyl are two different names for the same compound, which is known as a human carcinogen.

"But it's not a component of any food dye, certainly not of yellow #5, and it's not even any part of its chemical structure," Lowe said.

A spokeswoman for Kraft provided a statement to ABC News, stating, "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority. We carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold. So in the U.S., we only use ingredients that are approved and deemed safe for food use by the Food and Drug Administration."

The International Food Information Council has said food ingredients are "carefully regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that foods containing them are safe to eat and are accurately labeled."

quicklist:4category: Kraft Catalina Dressingmedia: 19458707title: Red #40text: "Red #40 may contain the carcinogenic contaminant p-Cresidine and is thought to cause tumors of the immune system," according to "Rich Food, Poor Food". "In the UK, it is not recommended for children," the Caltons write, but it is approved for use in the EU.

The ingredient can be found in fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, grenadine, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy and other products, the Caltons say.

Lowe said he can't find evidence for risk of tumors due to Red #40 and Cresidine "is certainly not a contaminant in the dyestuff" but is one pure compound.

"There is a possibility for cresidinesulfonic acid to be produced as a metabolite, but that's a very different substance than Cresidine itself," Lowe said.

Jones said high amounts of some ingredients could be damaging to some people, but that depends on the amount of consumption and the content of one's diet in general.

"Unless you are crazy and you do drink 8 liters of pop a day, your diet is so disordered already, no wonder what you eat is toxic-- eating things in a way that never intended to be eaten," she said.

Kraft said, "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority" and the company "carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold."

quicklist:5category: Mountain Dewmedia: 19458718title: Brominated vegetable oil text: Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, acts as an emulsifier in soda and sports drinks, preventing the flavoring from separating and floating to the surface. The ingredient is banned more than 100 countries because it contains bromine, a chemical whose vapors can be corrosive or toxic, the Caltons say.

Aurora Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for PepsiCo, which owns Mountain Dew, said, "We take consumer safety and product integrity seriously and we can assure you that Mountain Dew is safe. As standard practice, we constantly evaluate our formulas and ingredients to ensure they comply with all regulations and meet the high quality standards our consumers expect."

Lowe said the same chemical dangers of consuming a bromine directly can be said of chlorine.

Bromine-containing compounds can indeed cause bad reactions in people but not because bromine is a corrosive gas, he said.

"When a bromine atom is bonded to a carbon, as it is in BVO, it's no longer bromine-the-pure-element, any more than the chlorine in table salt is the World War I poison gas, or the phosphorus in your DNA is the burning white phosphorus found in military tracer shells," Lowe said.

quicklist:6category: media: 19458532title: Azodicarbonamidetext: This ingredient, which can bleach flour, is banned in Australia, the U.K. and many European countries, said the Caltons, who call it an "asthma-causing" allergen. Up to 45 parts per million is considered safe in the U.S. and it's found in a wide range of breads and baked goods here.

While Lowe acknowledges the chemical can be used to "foam" foamed plastics, "the conditions inside hot plastic, you will be glad to hear, are quite different from those inside warm bread dough," he said. In that environment, azodicarbonamide doesn't react to make birurea - it turns into several gaseous products, which are what blow up the bubbles of the foam, which is not its purpose in bread dough.

While repeated or prolonged contact to the chemical may cause asthma and skin sensitization, Lowe said that refers to the pure chemical and not 45 parts per million in uncooked flour.

"If you're handling drums of the stuff at the plastics plant, you should be wearing protective gear. If you're eating a roll, no," Lowe writes.

quicklist: 7category: flatbread and bagel chipsmedia: 19458610 title: Potassium Bromate (Bromated flour)text: Potassium bromate, which strengthens dough, contains bromine, is also in brominated vegetable oil.

"The good news is that American bread manufacturers tell us that it disappears from the product during baking and deem that potassium bromate is safe as there is only negligible residue," the Caltons write in their book. "However, the pastry chefs in Paris disagree. In fact, government regulatory bodies in Europe, Canada, China, and many other regions have banned the use of this additive. In California, if potassium bromate has been added, a product must carry a warning label."

Lowe points out that bromate is different from bromide and bromine.

"Chloride is the anion in table salt, but it's also the anion in hydrochloric acid. Hypochlorite anion is laundry bleach," said Lowe. "Perchlorate anion is in solid rocket fuel. They're all different that's the point of chemistry."

quicklist: 8category: Ruffles Light media: 19458510title: Olestra (Olean) text: Olestra fat substitute is banned in the U.K. and Canada because it causes a depletion of fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoid, the Caltons say, "robbing us of vital micronutrients that our foods should be delivering."

It is found in Ruffles Light and Lay's WOW chips. Frito-Lay did not return a request for comment about its use of Olestra.

Lowe acknowledges that the non-caloric fat substitute interferes with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, "but potato chips are not a very good source of vitamins to start with," he writes.

He also points out that Olestra is found only in two brands of potato chips, "since it was a major failure in the market."

"And vitamin absorption can be messed with by all kinds of things, including other vitamins (folic acid supplements can interfere with B12 absorption, just to pick one). But I can agree with the plan of not eating the stuff: I think that if you're going to eat potato chips, eat a reasonable amount of the real ones," he writes in his blog.

quicklist: 9category: Chexmedia: 19458520title: Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) text:

Banned in England, and other European countries, "these waxy solids act as preservatives to prevent food from becoming rancid and developing objectionable odors," the Caltons write.

The state of California lists this ingredient as a possible carcinogen.

General Mills did not respond to a request about its use of BHT in Chex cereals.

Lowe said that BHT is approved by the EU and, "Animal studies notwithstanding, attempts to correlate human exposure to these compounds with any types of cancer have always come up negative."

quicklist:category: Some dairy media: 19458685title: rBGH and rBSTtext: Recombinant bovine growth hormone and recombinant bovine somatotropin, a synthetic version of bovine growth hormone, can be found in nonorganic dairy products unless noted on the packaging.

"However, several regions, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the European Union, have banned rBGH and rBST because of their dangerous impacts on both humanand bovine health," the Caltons say.

American dairy producer, Stonyfield, opposes the use of rBST because of economics and cow health.

"An increase in milk supply generally leads to a drop in the price paid to farmers," Stonyfield says on its website. "Price drops have put many farms out of business."

In 1993, the FDA approved the use of rBST in dairy cows based on a review of existing scientific studies.

Beth Meyer, a spokeswoman for the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council Inc (ADADC), a regional organization representing dairy farmers in New York, northern New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania, said over the last 20 years rBST has been heavily researched and separate reviews by the National Institutes of Health, the joint World Health Organization/Food And Agriculture Organization Committee, the American Medical Association, as well as regulatory agencies in Canada and the European Union have corroborated the FDA's conclusion.

"RBST is one of many management tools used by U.S. dairy farmers to provide a safe, affordable food supply," she said.

Canada and several European countries have affirmed that milk produced from rBST cows is safe for human consumption. These countries don't allow the sale of rBST to local farmers for reasons including economics, social customs and general opposition to technological advances used to promote efficient food production, not human health concerns.

Bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is given to dairy cattle to increase milk production, Lowe said, and BGH levels in the milk of treated cows are not higher than in untreated ones.

"Secondly, BGH is not active as a growth hormone in humans - it's selective for the cow receptor, not the human one," he said.

Lowe points out BGH was banned in some countries due to animal welfare concerns. "As far as human health, there doesn't seem to be any evidence it's bad for humans," he said.

quicklist:category: Chicken feed media: 19458620title: Arsenic text:

The Caltons warn about traces of arsenic, which has been banned in all foods in the EU, that can be found in some chicken feed.

But the National Chicken Council says chickens raised for meat or broilers (for meat production) are no longer given any feed additives containing arsenic.

"Broilers used to be given a product called Roxarsone which contained trace amounts of arsenic, but it was pulled from the market in 2011 and is no longer manufactured. No other products containing arsenic are currently fed to broilers in the U.S." said Tom Super, spokesman for the council.

Lowe points out that 100 parts per billion of inorganic arsenic have been found in white rice, though he said that doesn't pose a human health risk.

Arsenic can be found in groundwater supplies in a number of countries, according to the World Health Organization.

"It's very hard to have a diet anywhere in the world that doesn't have a trace amount of arsenic," Jones said.


11 Food Ingredients Banned Outside the U.S. That We Eat

Some experts say there's no reason to worry if you eat these foods.

June 26, 2013 — -- intro: A recently published list of foods banned in countries outside the U.S. has riled the plates of many in the food industry.

Last week, Buzzfeed published a list of 8 ingredients banned outside the U.S. that are found in foods in America. The list was derived from the book, Rich Food, Poor Food: The Ultimate Grocery Purchasing System, written by husband and wife team Jayson Calton, who has a Ph.D. in nutrition, and Mira Calton, a licensed certified nutritionist.

Said Mira Calton: "We call it our GPS of grocery purchasing system: how to identify dangerous ingredients -- so people can shop safe and smart in the grocery store."

The book includes a list of banned foods and dangerous foods, which they call "poor food."

Calton said manufacturers are not putting these ingredients in their food to be "bad people."

"It might have been part of their original formula and sometimes they don't know," Calton said.

The Food and Drug Administration assures the public that despite the frenzy over the list of ingredients banned in some countries outside the U.S., it is doing its job of monitoring food safety.

"As part of FDA's overall commitment to ensure the safety of the food supply, the agency uses an extensive, science-based process to evaluate the safety of food additives," the agency said in a statement to ABC News. "The law requires that the FDA determine there is reasonable certainty that an additive does not cause harm when it is used as intended. The agency continues to monitor the science on food additives and is prepared to take appropriate action if there are safety concerns. When determining that a food or ingredient is 'generally recognized as safe' or GRAS for its intended use in food, the same quantity and quality of evidence is required as is needed to approve a food additive."

Derek Lowe, a chemist who has a Ph.D. from Duke University, said the list is an example of "chemophobia." He told ABC News his reaction to the viral online list was "incredulity and revulsion."

"The thing is, I'm not reflexively saying people should eat all the food additives they can find. I don't myself. But the amount of understanding in the article was so minimal, it really pushed my buttons as a scientist," Lowe said.

The Caltons said they are not calling on the FDA to ban these ingredients, but they said "all of the ingredients on the list pose a potential danger to consumers and we feel the consumer should be made aware so that they can make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to buy a product with these ingredients."

Julie Jones, a professor emeritus with St. Catherine University in Minnesota and author of the textbook, Food Safety, said what drives one country to ban a food and not another often has to do with as much politics as it does science.

If one believes Paracelsus's principle, "the dose makes the poison," Jones said she believes these products have gone through the correct due diligence in the U.S.

"We have science and politics and they are different in each country," Jones said.

Here are 11 ingredients noted as banned in other countries and what some experts have to say about them:

quicklist:1category: Nutrigrain Barsmedia: 19458499title: Blue #1 food coloringtext: Banned in Norway, Finland and France, Blue #1 and Blue #2 can be found in candy, cereal, drinks and pet food in the U.S., the Caltons say.

Kellogg's did not reply to multiple requests for comment about its use of Blue #1 listed as an ingredient in some Nutrigrain bars.

Michael Pariza, professor emeritus of food science and past director of Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said most food dyes are not dangerous, with the exception of Yellow #5, but they can influence our perception of food -- for better or worse.

"Taste, appearance and smell all go together. You can have the most fantastic, nutritious thing in the world, but if it looks bad and smells bad, you're not going to eat it," he said.

Blue #1 was at one point banned in several other European countries, but the EU later certified it as safe, said Lowe. Norway banned almost all food dyes from 1978 until 2001, but since then, they have had virtually the same regulations as the EU, he added.

Lowe said synthesized compounds, when used in food, "are often things that are effective in small amounts, because they're so expensive," as is the case with artificial dyes.

"People see the bright colors in cake icing and sugary cereals and figure that the stuff must be glopped on like paint, but paint doesn't have very much dye or pigment in it, either," Lowe writes in his blog.

quicklist:2category: M&Msmedia: 19458657title: Blue #2 food coloringtext: "Until the twentieth century, food coloring was obtained from natural sources," Jayson and Mira Calton write in "Rich Food, Poor Food." "People gathered spices, like saffron and turmeric, to add rich hues to their otherwise bland-colored foods. While this method may have been somewhat limiting in shades, at least it was safe. Today, most artificial colors are made from coal tar."

Blue #2 is listed as an ingredient in Mars' M&Ms. In a statement from Mars, the company said, "Around the globe there can be slightly different formulations and products available based on both local requirements and consumer preferences. All the colors we use in our products, no matter where they are sold, comply with our own strict internal quality and safety requirements as well as all applicable laws, regulations and safety assessments relating to colors added to food. All colors are declared on the label in accordance with applicable national laws and regulations and always meet the highest safety standards."

Lowe said the concern about blue food dye's connection to brain cancer is "unproven," referring to studies in the 1980s with Blue #2. Lowe said rats were fed the dye over a long period in much larger concentrations -- up to 2 percent of their total food intake -- than even the most dedicated junk-food eater could encounter.

"Gliomas were seen in the male rats, but with no dose-response, and at levels consistent with historical controls in the particular rat strain. No one has ever been able to find any real-world connection," Lowe wrote.

quicklist:3category: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese media: 19458695 title: Yellow #5 (Tartazine), Yellow #6 food coloring text: Yellow #5 is banned in Norway and Austria due to compounds benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl, the Caltons say.

"Six of the eleven studies on yellow #5 showed that it caused genotoxicity, a deterioration of the cell's genetic material with potential to mutate healthy DNA," the book, "Rich Foods, Poor Foods," states.

Companies in the U.S. are required to list Yellow #5 in their ingredients because some people have sensitivity to it.

"Companies are so sensitive about allergies, but peanut allergies would be far more common than Tartazine," Pariza said.

Yellow #6 is banned in Norway and Finland, the Caltons say, but Lowe said the dye is approved across the EU.

Lowe said benzidine and 4-minobiphenyl are two different names for the same compound, which is known as a human carcinogen.

"But it's not a component of any food dye, certainly not of yellow #5, and it's not even any part of its chemical structure," Lowe said.

A spokeswoman for Kraft provided a statement to ABC News, stating, "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority. We carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold. So in the U.S., we only use ingredients that are approved and deemed safe for food use by the Food and Drug Administration."

The International Food Information Council has said food ingredients are "carefully regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that foods containing them are safe to eat and are accurately labeled."

quicklist:4category: Kraft Catalina Dressingmedia: 19458707title: Red #40text: "Red #40 may contain the carcinogenic contaminant p-Cresidine and is thought to cause tumors of the immune system," according to "Rich Food, Poor Food". "In the UK, it is not recommended for children," the Caltons write, but it is approved for use in the EU.

The ingredient can be found in fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, grenadine, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy and other products, the Caltons say.

Lowe said he can't find evidence for risk of tumors due to Red #40 and Cresidine "is certainly not a contaminant in the dyestuff" but is one pure compound.

"There is a possibility for cresidinesulfonic acid to be produced as a metabolite, but that's a very different substance than Cresidine itself," Lowe said.

Jones said high amounts of some ingredients could be damaging to some people, but that depends on the amount of consumption and the content of one's diet in general.

"Unless you are crazy and you do drink 8 liters of pop a day, your diet is so disordered already, no wonder what you eat is toxic-- eating things in a way that never intended to be eaten," she said.

Kraft said, "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority" and the company "carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold."

quicklist:5category: Mountain Dewmedia: 19458718title: Brominated vegetable oil text: Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, acts as an emulsifier in soda and sports drinks, preventing the flavoring from separating and floating to the surface. The ingredient is banned more than 100 countries because it contains bromine, a chemical whose vapors can be corrosive or toxic, the Caltons say.

Aurora Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for PepsiCo, which owns Mountain Dew, said, "We take consumer safety and product integrity seriously and we can assure you that Mountain Dew is safe. As standard practice, we constantly evaluate our formulas and ingredients to ensure they comply with all regulations and meet the high quality standards our consumers expect."

Lowe said the same chemical dangers of consuming a bromine directly can be said of chlorine.

Bromine-containing compounds can indeed cause bad reactions in people but not because bromine is a corrosive gas, he said.

"When a bromine atom is bonded to a carbon, as it is in BVO, it's no longer bromine-the-pure-element, any more than the chlorine in table salt is the World War I poison gas, or the phosphorus in your DNA is the burning white phosphorus found in military tracer shells," Lowe said.

quicklist:6category: media: 19458532title: Azodicarbonamidetext: This ingredient, which can bleach flour, is banned in Australia, the U.K. and many European countries, said the Caltons, who call it an "asthma-causing" allergen. Up to 45 parts per million is considered safe in the U.S. and it's found in a wide range of breads and baked goods here.

While Lowe acknowledges the chemical can be used to "foam" foamed plastics, "the conditions inside hot plastic, you will be glad to hear, are quite different from those inside warm bread dough," he said. In that environment, azodicarbonamide doesn't react to make birurea - it turns into several gaseous products, which are what blow up the bubbles of the foam, which is not its purpose in bread dough.

While repeated or prolonged contact to the chemical may cause asthma and skin sensitization, Lowe said that refers to the pure chemical and not 45 parts per million in uncooked flour.

"If you're handling drums of the stuff at the plastics plant, you should be wearing protective gear. If you're eating a roll, no," Lowe writes.

quicklist: 7category: flatbread and bagel chipsmedia: 19458610 title: Potassium Bromate (Bromated flour)text: Potassium bromate, which strengthens dough, contains bromine, is also in brominated vegetable oil.

"The good news is that American bread manufacturers tell us that it disappears from the product during baking and deem that potassium bromate is safe as there is only negligible residue," the Caltons write in their book. "However, the pastry chefs in Paris disagree. In fact, government regulatory bodies in Europe, Canada, China, and many other regions have banned the use of this additive. In California, if potassium bromate has been added, a product must carry a warning label."

Lowe points out that bromate is different from bromide and bromine.

"Chloride is the anion in table salt, but it's also the anion in hydrochloric acid. Hypochlorite anion is laundry bleach," said Lowe. "Perchlorate anion is in solid rocket fuel. They're all different that's the point of chemistry."

quicklist: 8category: Ruffles Light media: 19458510title: Olestra (Olean) text: Olestra fat substitute is banned in the U.K. and Canada because it causes a depletion of fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoid, the Caltons say, "robbing us of vital micronutrients that our foods should be delivering."

It is found in Ruffles Light and Lay's WOW chips. Frito-Lay did not return a request for comment about its use of Olestra.

Lowe acknowledges that the non-caloric fat substitute interferes with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, "but potato chips are not a very good source of vitamins to start with," he writes.

He also points out that Olestra is found only in two brands of potato chips, "since it was a major failure in the market."

"And vitamin absorption can be messed with by all kinds of things, including other vitamins (folic acid supplements can interfere with B12 absorption, just to pick one). But I can agree with the plan of not eating the stuff: I think that if you're going to eat potato chips, eat a reasonable amount of the real ones," he writes in his blog.

quicklist: 9category: Chexmedia: 19458520title: Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) text:

Banned in England, and other European countries, "these waxy solids act as preservatives to prevent food from becoming rancid and developing objectionable odors," the Caltons write.

The state of California lists this ingredient as a possible carcinogen.

General Mills did not respond to a request about its use of BHT in Chex cereals.

Lowe said that BHT is approved by the EU and, "Animal studies notwithstanding, attempts to correlate human exposure to these compounds with any types of cancer have always come up negative."

quicklist:category: Some dairy media: 19458685title: rBGH and rBSTtext: Recombinant bovine growth hormone and recombinant bovine somatotropin, a synthetic version of bovine growth hormone, can be found in nonorganic dairy products unless noted on the packaging.

"However, several regions, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the European Union, have banned rBGH and rBST because of their dangerous impacts on both humanand bovine health," the Caltons say.

American dairy producer, Stonyfield, opposes the use of rBST because of economics and cow health.

"An increase in milk supply generally leads to a drop in the price paid to farmers," Stonyfield says on its website. "Price drops have put many farms out of business."

In 1993, the FDA approved the use of rBST in dairy cows based on a review of existing scientific studies.

Beth Meyer, a spokeswoman for the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council Inc (ADADC), a regional organization representing dairy farmers in New York, northern New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania, said over the last 20 years rBST has been heavily researched and separate reviews by the National Institutes of Health, the joint World Health Organization/Food And Agriculture Organization Committee, the American Medical Association, as well as regulatory agencies in Canada and the European Union have corroborated the FDA's conclusion.

"RBST is one of many management tools used by U.S. dairy farmers to provide a safe, affordable food supply," she said.

Canada and several European countries have affirmed that milk produced from rBST cows is safe for human consumption. These countries don't allow the sale of rBST to local farmers for reasons including economics, social customs and general opposition to technological advances used to promote efficient food production, not human health concerns.

Bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is given to dairy cattle to increase milk production, Lowe said, and BGH levels in the milk of treated cows are not higher than in untreated ones.

"Secondly, BGH is not active as a growth hormone in humans - it's selective for the cow receptor, not the human one," he said.

Lowe points out BGH was banned in some countries due to animal welfare concerns. "As far as human health, there doesn't seem to be any evidence it's bad for humans," he said.

quicklist:category: Chicken feed media: 19458620title: Arsenic text:

The Caltons warn about traces of arsenic, which has been banned in all foods in the EU, that can be found in some chicken feed.

But the National Chicken Council says chickens raised for meat or broilers (for meat production) are no longer given any feed additives containing arsenic.

"Broilers used to be given a product called Roxarsone which contained trace amounts of arsenic, but it was pulled from the market in 2011 and is no longer manufactured. No other products containing arsenic are currently fed to broilers in the U.S." said Tom Super, spokesman for the council.

Lowe points out that 100 parts per billion of inorganic arsenic have been found in white rice, though he said that doesn't pose a human health risk.

Arsenic can be found in groundwater supplies in a number of countries, according to the World Health Organization.

"It's very hard to have a diet anywhere in the world that doesn't have a trace amount of arsenic," Jones said.


11 Food Ingredients Banned Outside the U.S. That We Eat

Some experts say there's no reason to worry if you eat these foods.

June 26, 2013 — -- intro: A recently published list of foods banned in countries outside the U.S. has riled the plates of many in the food industry.

Last week, Buzzfeed published a list of 8 ingredients banned outside the U.S. that are found in foods in America. The list was derived from the book, Rich Food, Poor Food: The Ultimate Grocery Purchasing System, written by husband and wife team Jayson Calton, who has a Ph.D. in nutrition, and Mira Calton, a licensed certified nutritionist.

Said Mira Calton: "We call it our GPS of grocery purchasing system: how to identify dangerous ingredients -- so people can shop safe and smart in the grocery store."

The book includes a list of banned foods and dangerous foods, which they call "poor food."

Calton said manufacturers are not putting these ingredients in their food to be "bad people."

"It might have been part of their original formula and sometimes they don't know," Calton said.

The Food and Drug Administration assures the public that despite the frenzy over the list of ingredients banned in some countries outside the U.S., it is doing its job of monitoring food safety.

"As part of FDA's overall commitment to ensure the safety of the food supply, the agency uses an extensive, science-based process to evaluate the safety of food additives," the agency said in a statement to ABC News. "The law requires that the FDA determine there is reasonable certainty that an additive does not cause harm when it is used as intended. The agency continues to monitor the science on food additives and is prepared to take appropriate action if there are safety concerns. When determining that a food or ingredient is 'generally recognized as safe' or GRAS for its intended use in food, the same quantity and quality of evidence is required as is needed to approve a food additive."

Derek Lowe, a chemist who has a Ph.D. from Duke University, said the list is an example of "chemophobia." He told ABC News his reaction to the viral online list was "incredulity and revulsion."

"The thing is, I'm not reflexively saying people should eat all the food additives they can find. I don't myself. But the amount of understanding in the article was so minimal, it really pushed my buttons as a scientist," Lowe said.

The Caltons said they are not calling on the FDA to ban these ingredients, but they said "all of the ingredients on the list pose a potential danger to consumers and we feel the consumer should be made aware so that they can make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to buy a product with these ingredients."

Julie Jones, a professor emeritus with St. Catherine University in Minnesota and author of the textbook, Food Safety, said what drives one country to ban a food and not another often has to do with as much politics as it does science.

If one believes Paracelsus's principle, "the dose makes the poison," Jones said she believes these products have gone through the correct due diligence in the U.S.

"We have science and politics and they are different in each country," Jones said.

Here are 11 ingredients noted as banned in other countries and what some experts have to say about them:

quicklist:1category: Nutrigrain Barsmedia: 19458499title: Blue #1 food coloringtext: Banned in Norway, Finland and France, Blue #1 and Blue #2 can be found in candy, cereal, drinks and pet food in the U.S., the Caltons say.

Kellogg's did not reply to multiple requests for comment about its use of Blue #1 listed as an ingredient in some Nutrigrain bars.

Michael Pariza, professor emeritus of food science and past director of Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said most food dyes are not dangerous, with the exception of Yellow #5, but they can influence our perception of food -- for better or worse.

"Taste, appearance and smell all go together. You can have the most fantastic, nutritious thing in the world, but if it looks bad and smells bad, you're not going to eat it," he said.

Blue #1 was at one point banned in several other European countries, but the EU later certified it as safe, said Lowe. Norway banned almost all food dyes from 1978 until 2001, but since then, they have had virtually the same regulations as the EU, he added.

Lowe said synthesized compounds, when used in food, "are often things that are effective in small amounts, because they're so expensive," as is the case with artificial dyes.

"People see the bright colors in cake icing and sugary cereals and figure that the stuff must be glopped on like paint, but paint doesn't have very much dye or pigment in it, either," Lowe writes in his blog.

quicklist:2category: M&Msmedia: 19458657title: Blue #2 food coloringtext: "Until the twentieth century, food coloring was obtained from natural sources," Jayson and Mira Calton write in "Rich Food, Poor Food." "People gathered spices, like saffron and turmeric, to add rich hues to their otherwise bland-colored foods. While this method may have been somewhat limiting in shades, at least it was safe. Today, most artificial colors are made from coal tar."

Blue #2 is listed as an ingredient in Mars' M&Ms. In a statement from Mars, the company said, "Around the globe there can be slightly different formulations and products available based on both local requirements and consumer preferences. All the colors we use in our products, no matter where they are sold, comply with our own strict internal quality and safety requirements as well as all applicable laws, regulations and safety assessments relating to colors added to food. All colors are declared on the label in accordance with applicable national laws and regulations and always meet the highest safety standards."

Lowe said the concern about blue food dye's connection to brain cancer is "unproven," referring to studies in the 1980s with Blue #2. Lowe said rats were fed the dye over a long period in much larger concentrations -- up to 2 percent of their total food intake -- than even the most dedicated junk-food eater could encounter.

"Gliomas were seen in the male rats, but with no dose-response, and at levels consistent with historical controls in the particular rat strain. No one has ever been able to find any real-world connection," Lowe wrote.

quicklist:3category: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese media: 19458695 title: Yellow #5 (Tartazine), Yellow #6 food coloring text: Yellow #5 is banned in Norway and Austria due to compounds benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl, the Caltons say.

"Six of the eleven studies on yellow #5 showed that it caused genotoxicity, a deterioration of the cell's genetic material with potential to mutate healthy DNA," the book, "Rich Foods, Poor Foods," states.

Companies in the U.S. are required to list Yellow #5 in their ingredients because some people have sensitivity to it.

"Companies are so sensitive about allergies, but peanut allergies would be far more common than Tartazine," Pariza said.

Yellow #6 is banned in Norway and Finland, the Caltons say, but Lowe said the dye is approved across the EU.

Lowe said benzidine and 4-minobiphenyl are two different names for the same compound, which is known as a human carcinogen.

"But it's not a component of any food dye, certainly not of yellow #5, and it's not even any part of its chemical structure," Lowe said.

A spokeswoman for Kraft provided a statement to ABC News, stating, "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority. We carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold. So in the U.S., we only use ingredients that are approved and deemed safe for food use by the Food and Drug Administration."

The International Food Information Council has said food ingredients are "carefully regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that foods containing them are safe to eat and are accurately labeled."

quicklist:4category: Kraft Catalina Dressingmedia: 19458707title: Red #40text: "Red #40 may contain the carcinogenic contaminant p-Cresidine and is thought to cause tumors of the immune system," according to "Rich Food, Poor Food". "In the UK, it is not recommended for children," the Caltons write, but it is approved for use in the EU.

The ingredient can be found in fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, grenadine, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy and other products, the Caltons say.

Lowe said he can't find evidence for risk of tumors due to Red #40 and Cresidine "is certainly not a contaminant in the dyestuff" but is one pure compound.

"There is a possibility for cresidinesulfonic acid to be produced as a metabolite, but that's a very different substance than Cresidine itself," Lowe said.

Jones said high amounts of some ingredients could be damaging to some people, but that depends on the amount of consumption and the content of one's diet in general.

"Unless you are crazy and you do drink 8 liters of pop a day, your diet is so disordered already, no wonder what you eat is toxic-- eating things in a way that never intended to be eaten," she said.

Kraft said, "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority" and the company "carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold."

quicklist:5category: Mountain Dewmedia: 19458718title: Brominated vegetable oil text: Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, acts as an emulsifier in soda and sports drinks, preventing the flavoring from separating and floating to the surface. The ingredient is banned more than 100 countries because it contains bromine, a chemical whose vapors can be corrosive or toxic, the Caltons say.

Aurora Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for PepsiCo, which owns Mountain Dew, said, "We take consumer safety and product integrity seriously and we can assure you that Mountain Dew is safe. As standard practice, we constantly evaluate our formulas and ingredients to ensure they comply with all regulations and meet the high quality standards our consumers expect."

Lowe said the same chemical dangers of consuming a bromine directly can be said of chlorine.

Bromine-containing compounds can indeed cause bad reactions in people but not because bromine is a corrosive gas, he said.

"When a bromine atom is bonded to a carbon, as it is in BVO, it's no longer bromine-the-pure-element, any more than the chlorine in table salt is the World War I poison gas, or the phosphorus in your DNA is the burning white phosphorus found in military tracer shells," Lowe said.

quicklist:6category: media: 19458532title: Azodicarbonamidetext: This ingredient, which can bleach flour, is banned in Australia, the U.K. and many European countries, said the Caltons, who call it an "asthma-causing" allergen. Up to 45 parts per million is considered safe in the U.S. and it's found in a wide range of breads and baked goods here.

While Lowe acknowledges the chemical can be used to "foam" foamed plastics, "the conditions inside hot plastic, you will be glad to hear, are quite different from those inside warm bread dough," he said. In that environment, azodicarbonamide doesn't react to make birurea - it turns into several gaseous products, which are what blow up the bubbles of the foam, which is not its purpose in bread dough.

While repeated or prolonged contact to the chemical may cause asthma and skin sensitization, Lowe said that refers to the pure chemical and not 45 parts per million in uncooked flour.

"If you're handling drums of the stuff at the plastics plant, you should be wearing protective gear. If you're eating a roll, no," Lowe writes.

quicklist: 7category: flatbread and bagel chipsmedia: 19458610 title: Potassium Bromate (Bromated flour)text: Potassium bromate, which strengthens dough, contains bromine, is also in brominated vegetable oil.

"The good news is that American bread manufacturers tell us that it disappears from the product during baking and deem that potassium bromate is safe as there is only negligible residue," the Caltons write in their book. "However, the pastry chefs in Paris disagree. In fact, government regulatory bodies in Europe, Canada, China, and many other regions have banned the use of this additive. In California, if potassium bromate has been added, a product must carry a warning label."

Lowe points out that bromate is different from bromide and bromine.

"Chloride is the anion in table salt, but it's also the anion in hydrochloric acid. Hypochlorite anion is laundry bleach," said Lowe. "Perchlorate anion is in solid rocket fuel. They're all different that's the point of chemistry."

quicklist: 8category: Ruffles Light media: 19458510title: Olestra (Olean) text: Olestra fat substitute is banned in the U.K. and Canada because it causes a depletion of fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoid, the Caltons say, "robbing us of vital micronutrients that our foods should be delivering."

It is found in Ruffles Light and Lay's WOW chips. Frito-Lay did not return a request for comment about its use of Olestra.

Lowe acknowledges that the non-caloric fat substitute interferes with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, "but potato chips are not a very good source of vitamins to start with," he writes.

He also points out that Olestra is found only in two brands of potato chips, "since it was a major failure in the market."

"And vitamin absorption can be messed with by all kinds of things, including other vitamins (folic acid supplements can interfere with B12 absorption, just to pick one). But I can agree with the plan of not eating the stuff: I think that if you're going to eat potato chips, eat a reasonable amount of the real ones," he writes in his blog.

quicklist: 9category: Chexmedia: 19458520title: Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) text:

Banned in England, and other European countries, "these waxy solids act as preservatives to prevent food from becoming rancid and developing objectionable odors," the Caltons write.

The state of California lists this ingredient as a possible carcinogen.

General Mills did not respond to a request about its use of BHT in Chex cereals.

Lowe said that BHT is approved by the EU and, "Animal studies notwithstanding, attempts to correlate human exposure to these compounds with any types of cancer have always come up negative."

quicklist:category: Some dairy media: 19458685title: rBGH and rBSTtext: Recombinant bovine growth hormone and recombinant bovine somatotropin, a synthetic version of bovine growth hormone, can be found in nonorganic dairy products unless noted on the packaging.

"However, several regions, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the European Union, have banned rBGH and rBST because of their dangerous impacts on both humanand bovine health," the Caltons say.

American dairy producer, Stonyfield, opposes the use of rBST because of economics and cow health.

"An increase in milk supply generally leads to a drop in the price paid to farmers," Stonyfield says on its website. "Price drops have put many farms out of business."

In 1993, the FDA approved the use of rBST in dairy cows based on a review of existing scientific studies.

Beth Meyer, a spokeswoman for the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council Inc (ADADC), a regional organization representing dairy farmers in New York, northern New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania, said over the last 20 years rBST has been heavily researched and separate reviews by the National Institutes of Health, the joint World Health Organization/Food And Agriculture Organization Committee, the American Medical Association, as well as regulatory agencies in Canada and the European Union have corroborated the FDA's conclusion.

"RBST is one of many management tools used by U.S. dairy farmers to provide a safe, affordable food supply," she said.

Canada and several European countries have affirmed that milk produced from rBST cows is safe for human consumption. These countries don't allow the sale of rBST to local farmers for reasons including economics, social customs and general opposition to technological advances used to promote efficient food production, not human health concerns.

Bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is given to dairy cattle to increase milk production, Lowe said, and BGH levels in the milk of treated cows are not higher than in untreated ones.

"Secondly, BGH is not active as a growth hormone in humans - it's selective for the cow receptor, not the human one," he said.

Lowe points out BGH was banned in some countries due to animal welfare concerns. "As far as human health, there doesn't seem to be any evidence it's bad for humans," he said.

quicklist:category: Chicken feed media: 19458620title: Arsenic text:

The Caltons warn about traces of arsenic, which has been banned in all foods in the EU, that can be found in some chicken feed.

But the National Chicken Council says chickens raised for meat or broilers (for meat production) are no longer given any feed additives containing arsenic.

"Broilers used to be given a product called Roxarsone which contained trace amounts of arsenic, but it was pulled from the market in 2011 and is no longer manufactured. No other products containing arsenic are currently fed to broilers in the U.S." said Tom Super, spokesman for the council.

Lowe points out that 100 parts per billion of inorganic arsenic have been found in white rice, though he said that doesn't pose a human health risk.

Arsenic can be found in groundwater supplies in a number of countries, according to the World Health Organization.

"It's very hard to have a diet anywhere in the world that doesn't have a trace amount of arsenic," Jones said.


11 Food Ingredients Banned Outside the U.S. That We Eat

Some experts say there's no reason to worry if you eat these foods.

June 26, 2013 — -- intro: A recently published list of foods banned in countries outside the U.S. has riled the plates of many in the food industry.

Last week, Buzzfeed published a list of 8 ingredients banned outside the U.S. that are found in foods in America. The list was derived from the book, Rich Food, Poor Food: The Ultimate Grocery Purchasing System, written by husband and wife team Jayson Calton, who has a Ph.D. in nutrition, and Mira Calton, a licensed certified nutritionist.

Said Mira Calton: "We call it our GPS of grocery purchasing system: how to identify dangerous ingredients -- so people can shop safe and smart in the grocery store."

The book includes a list of banned foods and dangerous foods, which they call "poor food."

Calton said manufacturers are not putting these ingredients in their food to be "bad people."

"It might have been part of their original formula and sometimes they don't know," Calton said.

The Food and Drug Administration assures the public that despite the frenzy over the list of ingredients banned in some countries outside the U.S., it is doing its job of monitoring food safety.

"As part of FDA's overall commitment to ensure the safety of the food supply, the agency uses an extensive, science-based process to evaluate the safety of food additives," the agency said in a statement to ABC News. "The law requires that the FDA determine there is reasonable certainty that an additive does not cause harm when it is used as intended. The agency continues to monitor the science on food additives and is prepared to take appropriate action if there are safety concerns. When determining that a food or ingredient is 'generally recognized as safe' or GRAS for its intended use in food, the same quantity and quality of evidence is required as is needed to approve a food additive."

Derek Lowe, a chemist who has a Ph.D. from Duke University, said the list is an example of "chemophobia." He told ABC News his reaction to the viral online list was "incredulity and revulsion."

"The thing is, I'm not reflexively saying people should eat all the food additives they can find. I don't myself. But the amount of understanding in the article was so minimal, it really pushed my buttons as a scientist," Lowe said.

The Caltons said they are not calling on the FDA to ban these ingredients, but they said "all of the ingredients on the list pose a potential danger to consumers and we feel the consumer should be made aware so that they can make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to buy a product with these ingredients."

Julie Jones, a professor emeritus with St. Catherine University in Minnesota and author of the textbook, Food Safety, said what drives one country to ban a food and not another often has to do with as much politics as it does science.

If one believes Paracelsus's principle, "the dose makes the poison," Jones said she believes these products have gone through the correct due diligence in the U.S.

"We have science and politics and they are different in each country," Jones said.

Here are 11 ingredients noted as banned in other countries and what some experts have to say about them:

quicklist:1category: Nutrigrain Barsmedia: 19458499title: Blue #1 food coloringtext: Banned in Norway, Finland and France, Blue #1 and Blue #2 can be found in candy, cereal, drinks and pet food in the U.S., the Caltons say.

Kellogg's did not reply to multiple requests for comment about its use of Blue #1 listed as an ingredient in some Nutrigrain bars.

Michael Pariza, professor emeritus of food science and past director of Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said most food dyes are not dangerous, with the exception of Yellow #5, but they can influence our perception of food -- for better or worse.

"Taste, appearance and smell all go together. You can have the most fantastic, nutritious thing in the world, but if it looks bad and smells bad, you're not going to eat it," he said.

Blue #1 was at one point banned in several other European countries, but the EU later certified it as safe, said Lowe. Norway banned almost all food dyes from 1978 until 2001, but since then, they have had virtually the same regulations as the EU, he added.

Lowe said synthesized compounds, when used in food, "are often things that are effective in small amounts, because they're so expensive," as is the case with artificial dyes.

"People see the bright colors in cake icing and sugary cereals and figure that the stuff must be glopped on like paint, but paint doesn't have very much dye or pigment in it, either," Lowe writes in his blog.

quicklist:2category: M&Msmedia: 19458657title: Blue #2 food coloringtext: "Until the twentieth century, food coloring was obtained from natural sources," Jayson and Mira Calton write in "Rich Food, Poor Food." "People gathered spices, like saffron and turmeric, to add rich hues to their otherwise bland-colored foods. While this method may have been somewhat limiting in shades, at least it was safe. Today, most artificial colors are made from coal tar."

Blue #2 is listed as an ingredient in Mars' M&Ms. In a statement from Mars, the company said, "Around the globe there can be slightly different formulations and products available based on both local requirements and consumer preferences. All the colors we use in our products, no matter where they are sold, comply with our own strict internal quality and safety requirements as well as all applicable laws, regulations and safety assessments relating to colors added to food. All colors are declared on the label in accordance with applicable national laws and regulations and always meet the highest safety standards."

Lowe said the concern about blue food dye's connection to brain cancer is "unproven," referring to studies in the 1980s with Blue #2. Lowe said rats were fed the dye over a long period in much larger concentrations -- up to 2 percent of their total food intake -- than even the most dedicated junk-food eater could encounter.

"Gliomas were seen in the male rats, but with no dose-response, and at levels consistent with historical controls in the particular rat strain. No one has ever been able to find any real-world connection," Lowe wrote.

quicklist:3category: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese media: 19458695 title: Yellow #5 (Tartazine), Yellow #6 food coloring text: Yellow #5 is banned in Norway and Austria due to compounds benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl, the Caltons say.

"Six of the eleven studies on yellow #5 showed that it caused genotoxicity, a deterioration of the cell's genetic material with potential to mutate healthy DNA," the book, "Rich Foods, Poor Foods," states.

Companies in the U.S. are required to list Yellow #5 in their ingredients because some people have sensitivity to it.

"Companies are so sensitive about allergies, but peanut allergies would be far more common than Tartazine," Pariza said.

Yellow #6 is banned in Norway and Finland, the Caltons say, but Lowe said the dye is approved across the EU.

Lowe said benzidine and 4-minobiphenyl are two different names for the same compound, which is known as a human carcinogen.

"But it's not a component of any food dye, certainly not of yellow #5, and it's not even any part of its chemical structure," Lowe said.

A spokeswoman for Kraft provided a statement to ABC News, stating, "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority. We carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold. So in the U.S., we only use ingredients that are approved and deemed safe for food use by the Food and Drug Administration."

The International Food Information Council has said food ingredients are "carefully regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that foods containing them are safe to eat and are accurately labeled."

quicklist:4category: Kraft Catalina Dressingmedia: 19458707title: Red #40text: "Red #40 may contain the carcinogenic contaminant p-Cresidine and is thought to cause tumors of the immune system," according to "Rich Food, Poor Food". "In the UK, it is not recommended for children," the Caltons write, but it is approved for use in the EU.

The ingredient can be found in fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, grenadine, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy and other products, the Caltons say.

Lowe said he can't find evidence for risk of tumors due to Red #40 and Cresidine "is certainly not a contaminant in the dyestuff" but is one pure compound.

"There is a possibility for cresidinesulfonic acid to be produced as a metabolite, but that's a very different substance than Cresidine itself," Lowe said.

Jones said high amounts of some ingredients could be damaging to some people, but that depends on the amount of consumption and the content of one's diet in general.

"Unless you are crazy and you do drink 8 liters of pop a day, your diet is so disordered already, no wonder what you eat is toxic-- eating things in a way that never intended to be eaten," she said.

Kraft said, "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority" and the company "carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold."

quicklist:5category: Mountain Dewmedia: 19458718title: Brominated vegetable oil text: Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, acts as an emulsifier in soda and sports drinks, preventing the flavoring from separating and floating to the surface. The ingredient is banned more than 100 countries because it contains bromine, a chemical whose vapors can be corrosive or toxic, the Caltons say.

Aurora Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for PepsiCo, which owns Mountain Dew, said, "We take consumer safety and product integrity seriously and we can assure you that Mountain Dew is safe. As standard practice, we constantly evaluate our formulas and ingredients to ensure they comply with all regulations and meet the high quality standards our consumers expect."

Lowe said the same chemical dangers of consuming a bromine directly can be said of chlorine.

Bromine-containing compounds can indeed cause bad reactions in people but not because bromine is a corrosive gas, he said.

"When a bromine atom is bonded to a carbon, as it is in BVO, it's no longer bromine-the-pure-element, any more than the chlorine in table salt is the World War I poison gas, or the phosphorus in your DNA is the burning white phosphorus found in military tracer shells," Lowe said.

quicklist:6category: media: 19458532title: Azodicarbonamidetext: This ingredient, which can bleach flour, is banned in Australia, the U.K. and many European countries, said the Caltons, who call it an "asthma-causing" allergen. Up to 45 parts per million is considered safe in the U.S. and it's found in a wide range of breads and baked goods here.

While Lowe acknowledges the chemical can be used to "foam" foamed plastics, "the conditions inside hot plastic, you will be glad to hear, are quite different from those inside warm bread dough," he said. In that environment, azodicarbonamide doesn't react to make birurea - it turns into several gaseous products, which are what blow up the bubbles of the foam, which is not its purpose in bread dough.

While repeated or prolonged contact to the chemical may cause asthma and skin sensitization, Lowe said that refers to the pure chemical and not 45 parts per million in uncooked flour.

"If you're handling drums of the stuff at the plastics plant, you should be wearing protective gear. If you're eating a roll, no," Lowe writes.

quicklist: 7category: flatbread and bagel chipsmedia: 19458610 title: Potassium Bromate (Bromated flour)text: Potassium bromate, which strengthens dough, contains bromine, is also in brominated vegetable oil.

"The good news is that American bread manufacturers tell us that it disappears from the product during baking and deem that potassium bromate is safe as there is only negligible residue," the Caltons write in their book. "However, the pastry chefs in Paris disagree. In fact, government regulatory bodies in Europe, Canada, China, and many other regions have banned the use of this additive. In California, if potassium bromate has been added, a product must carry a warning label."

Lowe points out that bromate is different from bromide and bromine.

"Chloride is the anion in table salt, but it's also the anion in hydrochloric acid. Hypochlorite anion is laundry bleach," said Lowe. "Perchlorate anion is in solid rocket fuel. They're all different that's the point of chemistry."

quicklist: 8category: Ruffles Light media: 19458510title: Olestra (Olean) text: Olestra fat substitute is banned in the U.K. and Canada because it causes a depletion of fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoid, the Caltons say, "robbing us of vital micronutrients that our foods should be delivering."

It is found in Ruffles Light and Lay's WOW chips. Frito-Lay did not return a request for comment about its use of Olestra.

Lowe acknowledges that the non-caloric fat substitute interferes with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, "but potato chips are not a very good source of vitamins to start with," he writes.

He also points out that Olestra is found only in two brands of potato chips, "since it was a major failure in the market."

"And vitamin absorption can be messed with by all kinds of things, including other vitamins (folic acid supplements can interfere with B12 absorption, just to pick one). But I can agree with the plan of not eating the stuff: I think that if you're going to eat potato chips, eat a reasonable amount of the real ones," he writes in his blog.

quicklist: 9category: Chexmedia: 19458520title: Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) text:

Banned in England, and other European countries, "these waxy solids act as preservatives to prevent food from becoming rancid and developing objectionable odors," the Caltons write.

The state of California lists this ingredient as a possible carcinogen.

General Mills did not respond to a request about its use of BHT in Chex cereals.

Lowe said that BHT is approved by the EU and, "Animal studies notwithstanding, attempts to correlate human exposure to these compounds with any types of cancer have always come up negative."

quicklist:category: Some dairy media: 19458685title: rBGH and rBSTtext: Recombinant bovine growth hormone and recombinant bovine somatotropin, a synthetic version of bovine growth hormone, can be found in nonorganic dairy products unless noted on the packaging.

"However, several regions, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the European Union, have banned rBGH and rBST because of their dangerous impacts on both humanand bovine health," the Caltons say.

American dairy producer, Stonyfield, opposes the use of rBST because of economics and cow health.

"An increase in milk supply generally leads to a drop in the price paid to farmers," Stonyfield says on its website. "Price drops have put many farms out of business."

In 1993, the FDA approved the use of rBST in dairy cows based on a review of existing scientific studies.

Beth Meyer, a spokeswoman for the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council Inc (ADADC), a regional organization representing dairy farmers in New York, northern New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania, said over the last 20 years rBST has been heavily researched and separate reviews by the National Institutes of Health, the joint World Health Organization/Food And Agriculture Organization Committee, the American Medical Association, as well as regulatory agencies in Canada and the European Union have corroborated the FDA's conclusion.

"RBST is one of many management tools used by U.S. dairy farmers to provide a safe, affordable food supply," she said.

Canada and several European countries have affirmed that milk produced from rBST cows is safe for human consumption. These countries don't allow the sale of rBST to local farmers for reasons including economics, social customs and general opposition to technological advances used to promote efficient food production, not human health concerns.

Bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is given to dairy cattle to increase milk production, Lowe said, and BGH levels in the milk of treated cows are not higher than in untreated ones.

"Secondly, BGH is not active as a growth hormone in humans - it's selective for the cow receptor, not the human one," he said.

Lowe points out BGH was banned in some countries due to animal welfare concerns. "As far as human health, there doesn't seem to be any evidence it's bad for humans," he said.

quicklist:category: Chicken feed media: 19458620title: Arsenic text:

The Caltons warn about traces of arsenic, which has been banned in all foods in the EU, that can be found in some chicken feed.

But the National Chicken Council says chickens raised for meat or broilers (for meat production) are no longer given any feed additives containing arsenic.

"Broilers used to be given a product called Roxarsone which contained trace amounts of arsenic, but it was pulled from the market in 2011 and is no longer manufactured. No other products containing arsenic are currently fed to broilers in the U.S." said Tom Super, spokesman for the council.

Lowe points out that 100 parts per billion of inorganic arsenic have been found in white rice, though he said that doesn't pose a human health risk.

Arsenic can be found in groundwater supplies in a number of countries, according to the World Health Organization.

"It's very hard to have a diet anywhere in the world that doesn't have a trace amount of arsenic," Jones said.


11 Food Ingredients Banned Outside the U.S. That We Eat

Some experts say there's no reason to worry if you eat these foods.

June 26, 2013 — -- intro: A recently published list of foods banned in countries outside the U.S. has riled the plates of many in the food industry.

Last week, Buzzfeed published a list of 8 ingredients banned outside the U.S. that are found in foods in America. The list was derived from the book, Rich Food, Poor Food: The Ultimate Grocery Purchasing System, written by husband and wife team Jayson Calton, who has a Ph.D. in nutrition, and Mira Calton, a licensed certified nutritionist.

Said Mira Calton: "We call it our GPS of grocery purchasing system: how to identify dangerous ingredients -- so people can shop safe and smart in the grocery store."

The book includes a list of banned foods and dangerous foods, which they call "poor food."

Calton said manufacturers are not putting these ingredients in their food to be "bad people."

"It might have been part of their original formula and sometimes they don't know," Calton said.

The Food and Drug Administration assures the public that despite the frenzy over the list of ingredients banned in some countries outside the U.S., it is doing its job of monitoring food safety.

"As part of FDA's overall commitment to ensure the safety of the food supply, the agency uses an extensive, science-based process to evaluate the safety of food additives," the agency said in a statement to ABC News. "The law requires that the FDA determine there is reasonable certainty that an additive does not cause harm when it is used as intended. The agency continues to monitor the science on food additives and is prepared to take appropriate action if there are safety concerns. When determining that a food or ingredient is 'generally recognized as safe' or GRAS for its intended use in food, the same quantity and quality of evidence is required as is needed to approve a food additive."

Derek Lowe, a chemist who has a Ph.D. from Duke University, said the list is an example of "chemophobia." He told ABC News his reaction to the viral online list was "incredulity and revulsion."

"The thing is, I'm not reflexively saying people should eat all the food additives they can find. I don't myself. But the amount of understanding in the article was so minimal, it really pushed my buttons as a scientist," Lowe said.

The Caltons said they are not calling on the FDA to ban these ingredients, but they said "all of the ingredients on the list pose a potential danger to consumers and we feel the consumer should be made aware so that they can make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to buy a product with these ingredients."

Julie Jones, a professor emeritus with St. Catherine University in Minnesota and author of the textbook, Food Safety, said what drives one country to ban a food and not another often has to do with as much politics as it does science.

If one believes Paracelsus's principle, "the dose makes the poison," Jones said she believes these products have gone through the correct due diligence in the U.S.

"We have science and politics and they are different in each country," Jones said.

Here are 11 ingredients noted as banned in other countries and what some experts have to say about them:

quicklist:1category: Nutrigrain Barsmedia: 19458499title: Blue #1 food coloringtext: Banned in Norway, Finland and France, Blue #1 and Blue #2 can be found in candy, cereal, drinks and pet food in the U.S., the Caltons say.

Kellogg's did not reply to multiple requests for comment about its use of Blue #1 listed as an ingredient in some Nutrigrain bars.

Michael Pariza, professor emeritus of food science and past director of Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said most food dyes are not dangerous, with the exception of Yellow #5, but they can influence our perception of food -- for better or worse.

"Taste, appearance and smell all go together. You can have the most fantastic, nutritious thing in the world, but if it looks bad and smells bad, you're not going to eat it," he said.

Blue #1 was at one point banned in several other European countries, but the EU later certified it as safe, said Lowe. Norway banned almost all food dyes from 1978 until 2001, but since then, they have had virtually the same regulations as the EU, he added.

Lowe said synthesized compounds, when used in food, "are often things that are effective in small amounts, because they're so expensive," as is the case with artificial dyes.

"People see the bright colors in cake icing and sugary cereals and figure that the stuff must be glopped on like paint, but paint doesn't have very much dye or pigment in it, either," Lowe writes in his blog.

quicklist:2category: M&Msmedia: 19458657title: Blue #2 food coloringtext: "Until the twentieth century, food coloring was obtained from natural sources," Jayson and Mira Calton write in "Rich Food, Poor Food." "People gathered spices, like saffron and turmeric, to add rich hues to their otherwise bland-colored foods. While this method may have been somewhat limiting in shades, at least it was safe. Today, most artificial colors are made from coal tar."

Blue #2 is listed as an ingredient in Mars' M&Ms. In a statement from Mars, the company said, "Around the globe there can be slightly different formulations and products available based on both local requirements and consumer preferences. All the colors we use in our products, no matter where they are sold, comply with our own strict internal quality and safety requirements as well as all applicable laws, regulations and safety assessments relating to colors added to food. All colors are declared on the label in accordance with applicable national laws and regulations and always meet the highest safety standards."

Lowe said the concern about blue food dye's connection to brain cancer is "unproven," referring to studies in the 1980s with Blue #2. Lowe said rats were fed the dye over a long period in much larger concentrations -- up to 2 percent of their total food intake -- than even the most dedicated junk-food eater could encounter.

"Gliomas were seen in the male rats, but with no dose-response, and at levels consistent with historical controls in the particular rat strain. No one has ever been able to find any real-world connection," Lowe wrote.

quicklist:3category: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese media: 19458695 title: Yellow #5 (Tartazine), Yellow #6 food coloring text: Yellow #5 is banned in Norway and Austria due to compounds benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl, the Caltons say.

"Six of the eleven studies on yellow #5 showed that it caused genotoxicity, a deterioration of the cell's genetic material with potential to mutate healthy DNA," the book, "Rich Foods, Poor Foods," states.

Companies in the U.S. are required to list Yellow #5 in their ingredients because some people have sensitivity to it.

"Companies are so sensitive about allergies, but peanut allergies would be far more common than Tartazine," Pariza said.

Yellow #6 is banned in Norway and Finland, the Caltons say, but Lowe said the dye is approved across the EU.

Lowe said benzidine and 4-minobiphenyl are two different names for the same compound, which is known as a human carcinogen.

"But it's not a component of any food dye, certainly not of yellow #5, and it's not even any part of its chemical structure," Lowe said.

A spokeswoman for Kraft provided a statement to ABC News, stating, "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority. We carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold. So in the U.S., we only use ingredients that are approved and deemed safe for food use by the Food and Drug Administration."

The International Food Information Council has said food ingredients are "carefully regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that foods containing them are safe to eat and are accurately labeled."

quicklist:4category: Kraft Catalina Dressingmedia: 19458707title: Red #40text: "Red #40 may contain the carcinogenic contaminant p-Cresidine and is thought to cause tumors of the immune system," according to "Rich Food, Poor Food". "In the UK, it is not recommended for children," the Caltons write, but it is approved for use in the EU.

The ingredient can be found in fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, grenadine, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy and other products, the Caltons say.

Lowe said he can't find evidence for risk of tumors due to Red #40 and Cresidine "is certainly not a contaminant in the dyestuff" but is one pure compound.

"There is a possibility for cresidinesulfonic acid to be produced as a metabolite, but that's a very different substance than Cresidine itself," Lowe said.

Jones said high amounts of some ingredients could be damaging to some people, but that depends on the amount of consumption and the content of one's diet in general.

"Unless you are crazy and you do drink 8 liters of pop a day, your diet is so disordered already, no wonder what you eat is toxic-- eating things in a way that never intended to be eaten," she said.

Kraft said, "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority" and the company "carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold."

quicklist:5category: Mountain Dewmedia: 19458718title: Brominated vegetable oil text: Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, acts as an emulsifier in soda and sports drinks, preventing the flavoring from separating and floating to the surface. The ingredient is banned more than 100 countries because it contains bromine, a chemical whose vapors can be corrosive or toxic, the Caltons say.

Aurora Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for PepsiCo, which owns Mountain Dew, said, "We take consumer safety and product integrity seriously and we can assure you that Mountain Dew is safe. As standard practice, we constantly evaluate our formulas and ingredients to ensure they comply with all regulations and meet the high quality standards our consumers expect."

Lowe said the same chemical dangers of consuming a bromine directly can be said of chlorine.

Bromine-containing compounds can indeed cause bad reactions in people but not because bromine is a corrosive gas, he said.

"When a bromine atom is bonded to a carbon, as it is in BVO, it's no longer bromine-the-pure-element, any more than the chlorine in table salt is the World War I poison gas, or the phosphorus in your DNA is the burning white phosphorus found in military tracer shells," Lowe said.

quicklist:6category: media: 19458532title: Azodicarbonamidetext: This ingredient, which can bleach flour, is banned in Australia, the U.K. and many European countries, said the Caltons, who call it an "asthma-causing" allergen. Up to 45 parts per million is considered safe in the U.S. and it's found in a wide range of breads and baked goods here.

While Lowe acknowledges the chemical can be used to "foam" foamed plastics, "the conditions inside hot plastic, you will be glad to hear, are quite different from those inside warm bread dough," he said. In that environment, azodicarbonamide doesn't react to make birurea - it turns into several gaseous products, which are what blow up the bubbles of the foam, which is not its purpose in bread dough.

While repeated or prolonged contact to the chemical may cause asthma and skin sensitization, Lowe said that refers to the pure chemical and not 45 parts per million in uncooked flour.

"If you're handling drums of the stuff at the plastics plant, you should be wearing protective gear. If you're eating a roll, no," Lowe writes.

quicklist: 7category: flatbread and bagel chipsmedia: 19458610 title: Potassium Bromate (Bromated flour)text: Potassium bromate, which strengthens dough, contains bromine, is also in brominated vegetable oil.

"The good news is that American bread manufacturers tell us that it disappears from the product during baking and deem that potassium bromate is safe as there is only negligible residue," the Caltons write in their book. "However, the pastry chefs in Paris disagree. In fact, government regulatory bodies in Europe, Canada, China, and many other regions have banned the use of this additive. In California, if potassium bromate has been added, a product must carry a warning label."

Lowe points out that bromate is different from bromide and bromine.

"Chloride is the anion in table salt, but it's also the anion in hydrochloric acid. Hypochlorite anion is laundry bleach," said Lowe. "Perchlorate anion is in solid rocket fuel. They're all different that's the point of chemistry."

quicklist: 8category: Ruffles Light media: 19458510title: Olestra (Olean) text: Olestra fat substitute is banned in the U.K. and Canada because it causes a depletion of fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoid, the Caltons say, "robbing us of vital micronutrients that our foods should be delivering."

It is found in Ruffles Light and Lay's WOW chips. Frito-Lay did not return a request for comment about its use of Olestra.

Lowe acknowledges that the non-caloric fat substitute interferes with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, "but potato chips are not a very good source of vitamins to start with," he writes.

He also points out that Olestra is found only in two brands of potato chips, "since it was a major failure in the market."

"And vitamin absorption can be messed with by all kinds of things, including other vitamins (folic acid supplements can interfere with B12 absorption, just to pick one). But I can agree with the plan of not eating the stuff: I think that if you're going to eat potato chips, eat a reasonable amount of the real ones," he writes in his blog.

quicklist: 9category: Chexmedia: 19458520title: Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) text:

Banned in England, and other European countries, "these waxy solids act as preservatives to prevent food from becoming rancid and developing objectionable odors," the Caltons write.

The state of California lists this ingredient as a possible carcinogen.

General Mills did not respond to a request about its use of BHT in Chex cereals.

Lowe said that BHT is approved by the EU and, "Animal studies notwithstanding, attempts to correlate human exposure to these compounds with any types of cancer have always come up negative."

quicklist:category: Some dairy media: 19458685title: rBGH and rBSTtext: Recombinant bovine growth hormone and recombinant bovine somatotropin, a synthetic version of bovine growth hormone, can be found in nonorganic dairy products unless noted on the packaging.

"However, several regions, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the European Union, have banned rBGH and rBST because of their dangerous impacts on both humanand bovine health," the Caltons say.

American dairy producer, Stonyfield, opposes the use of rBST because of economics and cow health.

"An increase in milk supply generally leads to a drop in the price paid to farmers," Stonyfield says on its website. "Price drops have put many farms out of business."

In 1993, the FDA approved the use of rBST in dairy cows based on a review of existing scientific studies.

Beth Meyer, a spokeswoman for the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council Inc (ADADC), a regional organization representing dairy farmers in New York, northern New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania, said over the last 20 years rBST has been heavily researched and separate reviews by the National Institutes of Health, the joint World Health Organization/Food And Agriculture Organization Committee, the American Medical Association, as well as regulatory agencies in Canada and the European Union have corroborated the FDA's conclusion.

"RBST is one of many management tools used by U.S. dairy farmers to provide a safe, affordable food supply," she said.

Canada and several European countries have affirmed that milk produced from rBST cows is safe for human consumption. These countries don't allow the sale of rBST to local farmers for reasons including economics, social customs and general opposition to technological advances used to promote efficient food production, not human health concerns.

Bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is given to dairy cattle to increase milk production, Lowe said, and BGH levels in the milk of treated cows are not higher than in untreated ones.

"Secondly, BGH is not active as a growth hormone in humans - it's selective for the cow receptor, not the human one," he said.

Lowe points out BGH was banned in some countries due to animal welfare concerns. "As far as human health, there doesn't seem to be any evidence it's bad for humans," he said.

quicklist:category: Chicken feed media: 19458620title: Arsenic text:

The Caltons warn about traces of arsenic, which has been banned in all foods in the EU, that can be found in some chicken feed.

But the National Chicken Council says chickens raised for meat or broilers (for meat production) are no longer given any feed additives containing arsenic.

"Broilers used to be given a product called Roxarsone which contained trace amounts of arsenic, but it was pulled from the market in 2011 and is no longer manufactured. No other products containing arsenic are currently fed to broilers in the U.S." said Tom Super, spokesman for the council.

Lowe points out that 100 parts per billion of inorganic arsenic have been found in white rice, though he said that doesn't pose a human health risk.

Arsenic can be found in groundwater supplies in a number of countries, according to the World Health Organization.

"It's very hard to have a diet anywhere in the world that doesn't have a trace amount of arsenic," Jones said.


11 Food Ingredients Banned Outside the U.S. That We Eat

Some experts say there's no reason to worry if you eat these foods.

June 26, 2013 — -- intro: A recently published list of foods banned in countries outside the U.S. has riled the plates of many in the food industry.

Last week, Buzzfeed published a list of 8 ingredients banned outside the U.S. that are found in foods in America. The list was derived from the book, Rich Food, Poor Food: The Ultimate Grocery Purchasing System, written by husband and wife team Jayson Calton, who has a Ph.D. in nutrition, and Mira Calton, a licensed certified nutritionist.

Said Mira Calton: "We call it our GPS of grocery purchasing system: how to identify dangerous ingredients -- so people can shop safe and smart in the grocery store."

The book includes a list of banned foods and dangerous foods, which they call "poor food."

Calton said manufacturers are not putting these ingredients in their food to be "bad people."

"It might have been part of their original formula and sometimes they don't know," Calton said.

The Food and Drug Administration assures the public that despite the frenzy over the list of ingredients banned in some countries outside the U.S., it is doing its job of monitoring food safety.

"As part of FDA's overall commitment to ensure the safety of the food supply, the agency uses an extensive, science-based process to evaluate the safety of food additives," the agency said in a statement to ABC News. "The law requires that the FDA determine there is reasonable certainty that an additive does not cause harm when it is used as intended. The agency continues to monitor the science on food additives and is prepared to take appropriate action if there are safety concerns. When determining that a food or ingredient is 'generally recognized as safe' or GRAS for its intended use in food, the same quantity and quality of evidence is required as is needed to approve a food additive."

Derek Lowe, a chemist who has a Ph.D. from Duke University, said the list is an example of "chemophobia." He told ABC News his reaction to the viral online list was "incredulity and revulsion."

"The thing is, I'm not reflexively saying people should eat all the food additives they can find. I don't myself. But the amount of understanding in the article was so minimal, it really pushed my buttons as a scientist," Lowe said.

The Caltons said they are not calling on the FDA to ban these ingredients, but they said "all of the ingredients on the list pose a potential danger to consumers and we feel the consumer should be made aware so that they can make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to buy a product with these ingredients."

Julie Jones, a professor emeritus with St. Catherine University in Minnesota and author of the textbook, Food Safety, said what drives one country to ban a food and not another often has to do with as much politics as it does science.

If one believes Paracelsus's principle, "the dose makes the poison," Jones said she believes these products have gone through the correct due diligence in the U.S.

"We have science and politics and they are different in each country," Jones said.

Here are 11 ingredients noted as banned in other countries and what some experts have to say about them:

quicklist:1category: Nutrigrain Barsmedia: 19458499title: Blue #1 food coloringtext: Banned in Norway, Finland and France, Blue #1 and Blue #2 can be found in candy, cereal, drinks and pet food in the U.S., the Caltons say.

Kellogg's did not reply to multiple requests for comment about its use of Blue #1 listed as an ingredient in some Nutrigrain bars.

Michael Pariza, professor emeritus of food science and past director of Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said most food dyes are not dangerous, with the exception of Yellow #5, but they can influence our perception of food -- for better or worse.

"Taste, appearance and smell all go together. You can have the most fantastic, nutritious thing in the world, but if it looks bad and smells bad, you're not going to eat it," he said.

Blue #1 was at one point banned in several other European countries, but the EU later certified it as safe, said Lowe. Norway banned almost all food dyes from 1978 until 2001, but since then, they have had virtually the same regulations as the EU, he added.

Lowe said synthesized compounds, when used in food, "are often things that are effective in small amounts, because they're so expensive," as is the case with artificial dyes.

"People see the bright colors in cake icing and sugary cereals and figure that the stuff must be glopped on like paint, but paint doesn't have very much dye or pigment in it, either," Lowe writes in his blog.

quicklist:2category: M&Msmedia: 19458657title: Blue #2 food coloringtext: "Until the twentieth century, food coloring was obtained from natural sources," Jayson and Mira Calton write in "Rich Food, Poor Food." "People gathered spices, like saffron and turmeric, to add rich hues to their otherwise bland-colored foods. While this method may have been somewhat limiting in shades, at least it was safe. Today, most artificial colors are made from coal tar."

Blue #2 is listed as an ingredient in Mars' M&Ms. In a statement from Mars, the company said, "Around the globe there can be slightly different formulations and products available based on both local requirements and consumer preferences. All the colors we use in our products, no matter where they are sold, comply with our own strict internal quality and safety requirements as well as all applicable laws, regulations and safety assessments relating to colors added to food. All colors are declared on the label in accordance with applicable national laws and regulations and always meet the highest safety standards."

Lowe said the concern about blue food dye's connection to brain cancer is "unproven," referring to studies in the 1980s with Blue #2. Lowe said rats were fed the dye over a long period in much larger concentrations -- up to 2 percent of their total food intake -- than even the most dedicated junk-food eater could encounter.

"Gliomas were seen in the male rats, but with no dose-response, and at levels consistent with historical controls in the particular rat strain. No one has ever been able to find any real-world connection," Lowe wrote.

quicklist:3category: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese media: 19458695 title: Yellow #5 (Tartazine), Yellow #6 food coloring text: Yellow #5 is banned in Norway and Austria due to compounds benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl, the Caltons say.

"Six of the eleven studies on yellow #5 showed that it caused genotoxicity, a deterioration of the cell's genetic material with potential to mutate healthy DNA," the book, "Rich Foods, Poor Foods," states.

Companies in the U.S. are required to list Yellow #5 in their ingredients because some people have sensitivity to it.

"Companies are so sensitive about allergies, but peanut allergies would be far more common than Tartazine," Pariza said.

Yellow #6 is banned in Norway and Finland, the Caltons say, but Lowe said the dye is approved across the EU.

Lowe said benzidine and 4-minobiphenyl are two different names for the same compound, which is known as a human carcinogen.

"But it's not a component of any food dye, certainly not of yellow #5, and it's not even any part of its chemical structure," Lowe said.

A spokeswoman for Kraft provided a statement to ABC News, stating, "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority. We carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold. So in the U.S., we only use ingredients that are approved and deemed safe for food use by the Food and Drug Administration."

The International Food Information Council has said food ingredients are "carefully regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that foods containing them are safe to eat and are accurately labeled."

quicklist:4category: Kraft Catalina Dressingmedia: 19458707title: Red #40text: "Red #40 may contain the carcinogenic contaminant p-Cresidine and is thought to cause tumors of the immune system," according to "Rich Food, Poor Food". "In the UK, it is not recommended for children," the Caltons write, but it is approved for use in the EU.

The ingredient can be found in fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, grenadine, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy and other products, the Caltons say.

Lowe said he can't find evidence for risk of tumors due to Red #40 and Cresidine "is certainly not a contaminant in the dyestuff" but is one pure compound.

"There is a possibility for cresidinesulfonic acid to be produced as a metabolite, but that's a very different substance than Cresidine itself," Lowe said.

Jones said high amounts of some ingredients could be damaging to some people, but that depends on the amount of consumption and the content of one's diet in general.

"Unless you are crazy and you do drink 8 liters of pop a day, your diet is so disordered already, no wonder what you eat is toxic-- eating things in a way that never intended to be eaten," she said.

Kraft said, "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority" and the company "carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold."

quicklist:5category: Mountain Dewmedia: 19458718title: Brominated vegetable oil text: Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, acts as an emulsifier in soda and sports drinks, preventing the flavoring from separating and floating to the surface. The ingredient is banned more than 100 countries because it contains bromine, a chemical whose vapors can be corrosive or toxic, the Caltons say.

Aurora Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for PepsiCo, which owns Mountain Dew, said, "We take consumer safety and product integrity seriously and we can assure you that Mountain Dew is safe. As standard practice, we constantly evaluate our formulas and ingredients to ensure they comply with all regulations and meet the high quality standards our consumers expect."

Lowe said the same chemical dangers of consuming a bromine directly can be said of chlorine.

Bromine-containing compounds can indeed cause bad reactions in people but not because bromine is a corrosive gas, he said.

"When a bromine atom is bonded to a carbon, as it is in BVO, it's no longer bromine-the-pure-element, any more than the chlorine in table salt is the World War I poison gas, or the phosphorus in your DNA is the burning white phosphorus found in military tracer shells," Lowe said.

quicklist:6category: media: 19458532title: Azodicarbonamidetext: This ingredient, which can bleach flour, is banned in Australia, the U.K. and many European countries, said the Caltons, who call it an "asthma-causing" allergen. Up to 45 parts per million is considered safe in the U.S. and it's found in a wide range of breads and baked goods here.

While Lowe acknowledges the chemical can be used to "foam" foamed plastics, "the conditions inside hot plastic, you will be glad to hear, are quite different from those inside warm bread dough," he said. In that environment, azodicarbonamide doesn't react to make birurea - it turns into several gaseous products, which are what blow up the bubbles of the foam, which is not its purpose in bread dough.

While repeated or prolonged contact to the chemical may cause asthma and skin sensitization, Lowe said that refers to the pure chemical and not 45 parts per million in uncooked flour.

"If you're handling drums of the stuff at the plastics plant, you should be wearing protective gear. If you're eating a roll, no," Lowe writes.

quicklist: 7category: flatbread and bagel chipsmedia: 19458610 title: Potassium Bromate (Bromated flour)text: Potassium bromate, which strengthens dough, contains bromine, is also in brominated vegetable oil.

"The good news is that American bread manufacturers tell us that it disappears from the product during baking and deem that potassium bromate is safe as there is only negligible residue," the Caltons write in their book. "However, the pastry chefs in Paris disagree. In fact, government regulatory bodies in Europe, Canada, China, and many other regions have banned the use of this additive. In California, if potassium bromate has been added, a product must carry a warning label."

Lowe points out that bromate is different from bromide and bromine.

"Chloride is the anion in table salt, but it's also the anion in hydrochloric acid. Hypochlorite anion is laundry bleach," said Lowe. "Perchlorate anion is in solid rocket fuel. They're all different that's the point of chemistry."

quicklist: 8category: Ruffles Light media: 19458510title: Olestra (Olean) text: Olestra fat substitute is banned in the U.K. and Canada because it causes a depletion of fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoid, the Caltons say, "robbing us of vital micronutrients that our foods should be delivering."

It is found in Ruffles Light and Lay's WOW chips. Frito-Lay did not return a request for comment about its use of Olestra.

Lowe acknowledges that the non-caloric fat substitute interferes with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, "but potato chips are not a very good source of vitamins to start with," he writes.

He also points out that Olestra is found only in two brands of potato chips, "since it was a major failure in the market."

"And vitamin absorption can be messed with by all kinds of things, including other vitamins (folic acid supplements can interfere with B12 absorption, just to pick one). But I can agree with the plan of not eating the stuff: I think that if you're going to eat potato chips, eat a reasonable amount of the real ones," he writes in his blog.

quicklist: 9category: Chexmedia: 19458520title: Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) text:

Banned in England, and other European countries, "these waxy solids act as preservatives to prevent food from becoming rancid and developing objectionable odors," the Caltons write.

The state of California lists this ingredient as a possible carcinogen.

General Mills did not respond to a request about its use of BHT in Chex cereals.

Lowe said that BHT is approved by the EU and, "Animal studies notwithstanding, attempts to correlate human exposure to these compounds with any types of cancer have always come up negative."

quicklist:category: Some dairy media: 19458685title: rBGH and rBSTtext: Recombinant bovine growth hormone and recombinant bovine somatotropin, a synthetic version of bovine growth hormone, can be found in nonorganic dairy products unless noted on the packaging.

"However, several regions, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the European Union, have banned rBGH and rBST because of their dangerous impacts on both humanand bovine health," the Caltons say.

American dairy producer, Stonyfield, opposes the use of rBST because of economics and cow health.

"An increase in milk supply generally leads to a drop in the price paid to farmers," Stonyfield says on its website. "Price drops have put many farms out of business."

In 1993, the FDA approved the use of rBST in dairy cows based on a review of existing scientific studies.

Beth Meyer, a spokeswoman for the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council Inc (ADADC), a regional organization representing dairy farmers in New York, northern New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania, said over the last 20 years rBST has been heavily researched and separate reviews by the National Institutes of Health, the joint World Health Organization/Food And Agriculture Organization Committee, the American Medical Association, as well as regulatory agencies in Canada and the European Union have corroborated the FDA's conclusion.

"RBST is one of many management tools used by U.S. dairy farmers to provide a safe, affordable food supply," she said.

Canada and several European countries have affirmed that milk produced from rBST cows is safe for human consumption. These countries don't allow the sale of rBST to local farmers for reasons including economics, social customs and general opposition to technological advances used to promote efficient food production, not human health concerns.

Bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is given to dairy cattle to increase milk production, Lowe said, and BGH levels in the milk of treated cows are not higher than in untreated ones.

"Secondly, BGH is not active as a growth hormone in humans - it's selective for the cow receptor, not the human one," he said.

Lowe points out BGH was banned in some countries due to animal welfare concerns. "As far as human health, there doesn't seem to be any evidence it's bad for humans," he said.

quicklist:category: Chicken feed media: 19458620title: Arsenic text:

The Caltons warn about traces of arsenic, which has been banned in all foods in the EU, that can be found in some chicken feed.

But the National Chicken Council says chickens raised for meat or broilers (for meat production) are no longer given any feed additives containing arsenic.

"Broilers used to be given a product called Roxarsone which contained trace amounts of arsenic, but it was pulled from the market in 2011 and is no longer manufactured. No other products containing arsenic are currently fed to broilers in the U.S." said Tom Super, spokesman for the council.

Lowe points out that 100 parts per billion of inorganic arsenic have been found in white rice, though he said that doesn't pose a human health risk.

Arsenic can be found in groundwater supplies in a number of countries, according to the World Health Organization.

"It's very hard to have a diet anywhere in the world that doesn't have a trace amount of arsenic," Jones said.


11 Food Ingredients Banned Outside the U.S. That We Eat

Some experts say there's no reason to worry if you eat these foods.

June 26, 2013 — -- intro: A recently published list of foods banned in countries outside the U.S. has riled the plates of many in the food industry.

Last week, Buzzfeed published a list of 8 ingredients banned outside the U.S. that are found in foods in America. The list was derived from the book, Rich Food, Poor Food: The Ultimate Grocery Purchasing System, written by husband and wife team Jayson Calton, who has a Ph.D. in nutrition, and Mira Calton, a licensed certified nutritionist.

Said Mira Calton: "We call it our GPS of grocery purchasing system: how to identify dangerous ingredients -- so people can shop safe and smart in the grocery store."

The book includes a list of banned foods and dangerous foods, which they call "poor food."

Calton said manufacturers are not putting these ingredients in their food to be "bad people."

"It might have been part of their original formula and sometimes they don't know," Calton said.

The Food and Drug Administration assures the public that despite the frenzy over the list of ingredients banned in some countries outside the U.S., it is doing its job of monitoring food safety.

"As part of FDA's overall commitment to ensure the safety of the food supply, the agency uses an extensive, science-based process to evaluate the safety of food additives," the agency said in a statement to ABC News. "The law requires that the FDA determine there is reasonable certainty that an additive does not cause harm when it is used as intended. The agency continues to monitor the science on food additives and is prepared to take appropriate action if there are safety concerns. When determining that a food or ingredient is 'generally recognized as safe' or GRAS for its intended use in food, the same quantity and quality of evidence is required as is needed to approve a food additive."

Derek Lowe, a chemist who has a Ph.D. from Duke University, said the list is an example of "chemophobia." He told ABC News his reaction to the viral online list was "incredulity and revulsion."

"The thing is, I'm not reflexively saying people should eat all the food additives they can find. I don't myself. But the amount of understanding in the article was so minimal, it really pushed my buttons as a scientist," Lowe said.

The Caltons said they are not calling on the FDA to ban these ingredients, but they said "all of the ingredients on the list pose a potential danger to consumers and we feel the consumer should be made aware so that they can make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to buy a product with these ingredients."

Julie Jones, a professor emeritus with St. Catherine University in Minnesota and author of the textbook, Food Safety, said what drives one country to ban a food and not another often has to do with as much politics as it does science.

If one believes Paracelsus's principle, "the dose makes the poison," Jones said she believes these products have gone through the correct due diligence in the U.S.

"We have science and politics and they are different in each country," Jones said.

Here are 11 ingredients noted as banned in other countries and what some experts have to say about them:

quicklist:1category: Nutrigrain Barsmedia: 19458499title: Blue #1 food coloringtext: Banned in Norway, Finland and France, Blue #1 and Blue #2 can be found in candy, cereal, drinks and pet food in the U.S., the Caltons say.

Kellogg's did not reply to multiple requests for comment about its use of Blue #1 listed as an ingredient in some Nutrigrain bars.

Michael Pariza, professor emeritus of food science and past director of Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said most food dyes are not dangerous, with the exception of Yellow #5, but they can influence our perception of food -- for better or worse.

"Taste, appearance and smell all go together. You can have the most fantastic, nutritious thing in the world, but if it looks bad and smells bad, you're not going to eat it," he said.

Blue #1 was at one point banned in several other European countries, but the EU later certified it as safe, said Lowe. Norway banned almost all food dyes from 1978 until 2001, but since then, they have had virtually the same regulations as the EU, he added.

Lowe said synthesized compounds, when used in food, "are often things that are effective in small amounts, because they're so expensive," as is the case with artificial dyes.

"People see the bright colors in cake icing and sugary cereals and figure that the stuff must be glopped on like paint, but paint doesn't have very much dye or pigment in it, either," Lowe writes in his blog.

quicklist:2category: M&Msmedia: 19458657title: Blue #2 food coloringtext: "Until the twentieth century, food coloring was obtained from natural sources," Jayson and Mira Calton write in "Rich Food, Poor Food." "People gathered spices, like saffron and turmeric, to add rich hues to their otherwise bland-colored foods. While this method may have been somewhat limiting in shades, at least it was safe. Today, most artificial colors are made from coal tar."

Blue #2 is listed as an ingredient in Mars' M&Ms. In a statement from Mars, the company said, "Around the globe there can be slightly different formulations and products available based on both local requirements and consumer preferences. All the colors we use in our products, no matter where they are sold, comply with our own strict internal quality and safety requirements as well as all applicable laws, regulations and safety assessments relating to colors added to food. All colors are declared on the label in accordance with applicable national laws and regulations and always meet the highest safety standards."

Lowe said the concern about blue food dye's connection to brain cancer is "unproven," referring to studies in the 1980s with Blue #2. Lowe said rats were fed the dye over a long period in much larger concentrations -- up to 2 percent of their total food intake -- than even the most dedicated junk-food eater could encounter.

"Gliomas were seen in the male rats, but with no dose-response, and at levels consistent with historical controls in the particular rat strain. No one has ever been able to find any real-world connection," Lowe wrote.

quicklist:3category: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese media: 19458695 title: Yellow #5 (Tartazine), Yellow #6 food coloring text: Yellow #5 is banned in Norway and Austria due to compounds benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl, the Caltons say.

"Six of the eleven studies on yellow #5 showed that it caused genotoxicity, a deterioration of the cell's genetic material with potential to mutate healthy DNA," the book, "Rich Foods, Poor Foods," states.

Companies in the U.S. are required to list Yellow #5 in their ingredients because some people have sensitivity to it.

"Companies are so sensitive about allergies, but peanut allergies would be far more common than Tartazine," Pariza said.

Yellow #6 is banned in Norway and Finland, the Caltons say, but Lowe said the dye is approved across the EU.

Lowe said benzidine and 4-minobiphenyl are two different names for the same compound, which is known as a human carcinogen.

"But it's not a component of any food dye, certainly not of yellow #5, and it's not even any part of its chemical structure," Lowe said.

A spokeswoman for Kraft provided a statement to ABC News, stating, "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority. We carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold. So in the U.S., we only use ingredients that are approved and deemed safe for food use by the Food and Drug Administration."

The International Food Information Council has said food ingredients are "carefully regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that foods containing them are safe to eat and are accurately labeled."

quicklist:4category: Kraft Catalina Dressingmedia: 19458707title: Red #40text: "Red #40 may contain the carcinogenic contaminant p-Cresidine and is thought to cause tumors of the immune system," according to "Rich Food, Poor Food". "In the UK, it is not recommended for children," the Caltons write, but it is approved for use in the EU.

The ingredient can be found in fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, grenadine, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy and other products, the Caltons say.

Lowe said he can't find evidence for risk of tumors due to Red #40 and Cresidine "is certainly not a contaminant in the dyestuff" but is one pure compound.

"There is a possibility for cresidinesulfonic acid to be produced as a metabolite, but that's a very different substance than Cresidine itself," Lowe said.

Jones said high amounts of some ingredients could be damaging to some people, but that depends on the amount of consumption and the content of one's diet in general.

"Unless you are crazy and you do drink 8 liters of pop a day, your diet is so disordered already, no wonder what you eat is toxic-- eating things in a way that never intended to be eaten," she said.

Kraft said, "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority" and the company "carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold."

quicklist:5category: Mountain Dewmedia: 19458718title: Brominated vegetable oil text: Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, acts as an emulsifier in soda and sports drinks, preventing the flavoring from separating and floating to the surface. The ingredient is banned more than 100 countries because it contains bromine, a chemical whose vapors can be corrosive or toxic, the Caltons say.

Aurora Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for PepsiCo, which owns Mountain Dew, said, "We take consumer safety and product integrity seriously and we can assure you that Mountain Dew is safe. As standard practice, we constantly evaluate our formulas and ingredients to ensure they comply with all regulations and meet the high quality standards our consumers expect."

Lowe said the same chemical dangers of consuming a bromine directly can be said of chlorine.

Bromine-containing compounds can indeed cause bad reactions in people but not because bromine is a corrosive gas, he said.

"When a bromine atom is bonded to a carbon, as it is in BVO, it's no longer bromine-the-pure-element, any more than the chlorine in table salt is the World War I poison gas, or the phosphorus in your DNA is the burning white phosphorus found in military tracer shells," Lowe said.

quicklist:6category: media: 19458532title: Azodicarbonamidetext: This ingredient, which can bleach flour, is banned in Australia, the U.K. and many European countries, said the Caltons, who call it an "asthma-causing" allergen. Up to 45 parts per million is considered safe in the U.S. and it's found in a wide range of breads and baked goods here.

While Lowe acknowledges the chemical can be used to "foam" foamed plastics, "the conditions inside hot plastic, you will be glad to hear, are quite different from those inside warm bread dough," he said. In that environment, azodicarbonamide doesn't react to make birurea - it turns into several gaseous products, which are what blow up the bubbles of the foam, which is not its purpose in bread dough.

While repeated or prolonged contact to the chemical may cause asthma and skin sensitization, Lowe said that refers to the pure chemical and not 45 parts per million in uncooked flour.

"If you're handling drums of the stuff at the plastics plant, you should be wearing protective gear. If you're eating a roll, no," Lowe writes.

quicklist: 7category: flatbread and bagel chipsmedia: 19458610 title: Potassium Bromate (Bromated flour)text: Potassium bromate, which strengthens dough, contains bromine, is also in brominated vegetable oil.

"The good news is that American bread manufacturers tell us that it disappears from the product during baking and deem that potassium bromate is safe as there is only negligible residue," the Caltons write in their book. "However, the pastry chefs in Paris disagree. In fact, government regulatory bodies in Europe, Canada, China, and many other regions have banned the use of this additive. In California, if potassium bromate has been added, a product must carry a warning label."

Lowe points out that bromate is different from bromide and bromine.

"Chloride is the anion in table salt, but it's also the anion in hydrochloric acid. Hypochlorite anion is laundry bleach," said Lowe. "Perchlorate anion is in solid rocket fuel. They're all different that's the point of chemistry."

quicklist: 8category: Ruffles Light media: 19458510title: Olestra (Olean) text: Olestra fat substitute is banned in the U.K. and Canada because it causes a depletion of fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoid, the Caltons say, "robbing us of vital micronutrients that our foods should be delivering."

It is found in Ruffles Light and Lay's WOW chips. Frito-Lay did not return a request for comment about its use of Olestra.

Lowe acknowledges that the non-caloric fat substitute interferes with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, "but potato chips are not a very good source of vitamins to start with," he writes.

He also points out that Olestra is found only in two brands of potato chips, "since it was a major failure in the market."

"And vitamin absorption can be messed with by all kinds of things, including other vitamins (folic acid supplements can interfere with B12 absorption, just to pick one). But I can agree with the plan of not eating the stuff: I think that if you're going to eat potato chips, eat a reasonable amount of the real ones," he writes in his blog.

quicklist: 9category: Chexmedia: 19458520title: Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) text:

Banned in England, and other European countries, "these waxy solids act as preservatives to prevent food from becoming rancid and developing objectionable odors," the Caltons write.

The state of California lists this ingredient as a possible carcinogen.

General Mills did not respond to a request about its use of BHT in Chex cereals.

Lowe said that BHT is approved by the EU and, "Animal studies notwithstanding, attempts to correlate human exposure to these compounds with any types of cancer have always come up negative."

quicklist:category: Some dairy media: 19458685title: rBGH and rBSTtext: Recombinant bovine growth hormone and recombinant bovine somatotropin, a synthetic version of bovine growth hormone, can be found in nonorganic dairy products unless noted on the packaging.

"However, several regions, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the European Union, have banned rBGH and rBST because of their dangerous impacts on both humanand bovine health," the Caltons say.

American dairy producer, Stonyfield, opposes the use of rBST because of economics and cow health.

"An increase in milk supply generally leads to a drop in the price paid to farmers," Stonyfield says on its website. "Price drops have put many farms out of business."

In 1993, the FDA approved the use of rBST in dairy cows based on a review of existing scientific studies.

Beth Meyer, a spokeswoman for the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council Inc (ADADC), a regional organization representing dairy farmers in New York, northern New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania, said over the last 20 years rBST has been heavily researched and separate reviews by the National Institutes of Health, the joint World Health Organization/Food And Agriculture Organization Committee, the American Medical Association, as well as regulatory agencies in Canada and the European Union have corroborated the FDA's conclusion.

"RBST is one of many management tools used by U.S. dairy farmers to provide a safe, affordable food supply," she said.

Canada and several European countries have affirmed that milk produced from rBST cows is safe for human consumption. These countries don't allow the sale of rBST to local farmers for reasons including economics, social customs and general opposition to technological advances used to promote efficient food production, not human health concerns.

Bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is given to dairy cattle to increase milk production, Lowe said, and BGH levels in the milk of treated cows are not higher than in untreated ones.

"Secondly, BGH is not active as a growth hormone in humans - it's selective for the cow receptor, not the human one," he said.

Lowe points out BGH was banned in some countries due to animal welfare concerns. "As far as human health, there doesn't seem to be any evidence it's bad for humans," he said.

quicklist:category: Chicken feed media: 19458620title: Arsenic text:

The Caltons warn about traces of arsenic, which has been banned in all foods in the EU, that can be found in some chicken feed.

But the National Chicken Council says chickens raised for meat or broilers (for meat production) are no longer given any feed additives containing arsenic.

"Broilers used to be given a product called Roxarsone which contained trace amounts of arsenic, but it was pulled from the market in 2011 and is no longer manufactured. No other products containing arsenic are currently fed to broilers in the U.S." said Tom Super, spokesman for the council.

Lowe points out that 100 parts per billion of inorganic arsenic have been found in white rice, though he said that doesn't pose a human health risk.

Arsenic can be found in groundwater supplies in a number of countries, according to the World Health Organization.

"It's very hard to have a diet anywhere in the world that doesn't have a trace amount of arsenic," Jones said.


11 Food Ingredients Banned Outside the U.S. That We Eat

Some experts say there's no reason to worry if you eat these foods.

June 26, 2013 — -- intro: A recently published list of foods banned in countries outside the U.S. has riled the plates of many in the food industry.

Last week, Buzzfeed published a list of 8 ingredients banned outside the U.S. that are found in foods in America. The list was derived from the book, Rich Food, Poor Food: The Ultimate Grocery Purchasing System, written by husband and wife team Jayson Calton, who has a Ph.D. in nutrition, and Mira Calton, a licensed certified nutritionist.

Said Mira Calton: "We call it our GPS of grocery purchasing system: how to identify dangerous ingredients -- so people can shop safe and smart in the grocery store."

The book includes a list of banned foods and dangerous foods, which they call "poor food."

Calton said manufacturers are not putting these ingredients in their food to be "bad people."

"It might have been part of their original formula and sometimes they don't know," Calton said.

The Food and Drug Administration assures the public that despite the frenzy over the list of ingredients banned in some countries outside the U.S., it is doing its job of monitoring food safety.

"As part of FDA's overall commitment to ensure the safety of the food supply, the agency uses an extensive, science-based process to evaluate the safety of food additives," the agency said in a statement to ABC News. "The law requires that the FDA determine there is reasonable certainty that an additive does not cause harm when it is used as intended. The agency continues to monitor the science on food additives and is prepared to take appropriate action if there are safety concerns. When determining that a food or ingredient is 'generally recognized as safe' or GRAS for its intended use in food, the same quantity and quality of evidence is required as is needed to approve a food additive."

Derek Lowe, a chemist who has a Ph.D. from Duke University, said the list is an example of "chemophobia." He told ABC News his reaction to the viral online list was "incredulity and revulsion."

"The thing is, I'm not reflexively saying people should eat all the food additives they can find. I don't myself. But the amount of understanding in the article was so minimal, it really pushed my buttons as a scientist," Lowe said.

The Caltons said they are not calling on the FDA to ban these ingredients, but they said "all of the ingredients on the list pose a potential danger to consumers and we feel the consumer should be made aware so that they can make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to buy a product with these ingredients."

Julie Jones, a professor emeritus with St. Catherine University in Minnesota and author of the textbook, Food Safety, said what drives one country to ban a food and not another often has to do with as much politics as it does science.

If one believes Paracelsus's principle, "the dose makes the poison," Jones said she believes these products have gone through the correct due diligence in the U.S.

"We have science and politics and they are different in each country," Jones said.

Here are 11 ingredients noted as banned in other countries and what some experts have to say about them:

quicklist:1category: Nutrigrain Barsmedia: 19458499title: Blue #1 food coloringtext: Banned in Norway, Finland and France, Blue #1 and Blue #2 can be found in candy, cereal, drinks and pet food in the U.S., the Caltons say.

Kellogg's did not reply to multiple requests for comment about its use of Blue #1 listed as an ingredient in some Nutrigrain bars.

Michael Pariza, professor emeritus of food science and past director of Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said most food dyes are not dangerous, with the exception of Yellow #5, but they can influence our perception of food -- for better or worse.

"Taste, appearance and smell all go together. You can have the most fantastic, nutritious thing in the world, but if it looks bad and smells bad, you're not going to eat it," he said.

Blue #1 was at one point banned in several other European countries, but the EU later certified it as safe, said Lowe. Norway banned almost all food dyes from 1978 until 2001, but since then, they have had virtually the same regulations as the EU, he added.

Lowe said synthesized compounds, when used in food, "are often things that are effective in small amounts, because they're so expensive," as is the case with artificial dyes.

"People see the bright colors in cake icing and sugary cereals and figure that the stuff must be glopped on like paint, but paint doesn't have very much dye or pigment in it, either," Lowe writes in his blog.

quicklist:2category: M&Msmedia: 19458657title: Blue #2 food coloringtext: "Until the twentieth century, food coloring was obtained from natural sources," Jayson and Mira Calton write in "Rich Food, Poor Food." "People gathered spices, like saffron and turmeric, to add rich hues to their otherwise bland-colored foods. While this method may have been somewhat limiting in shades, at least it was safe. Today, most artificial colors are made from coal tar."

Blue #2 is listed as an ingredient in Mars' M&Ms. In a statement from Mars, the company said, "Around the globe there can be slightly different formulations and products available based on both local requirements and consumer preferences. All the colors we use in our products, no matter where they are sold, comply with our own strict internal quality and safety requirements as well as all applicable laws, regulations and safety assessments relating to colors added to food. All colors are declared on the label in accordance with applicable national laws and regulations and always meet the highest safety standards."

Lowe said the concern about blue food dye's connection to brain cancer is "unproven," referring to studies in the 1980s with Blue #2. Lowe said rats were fed the dye over a long period in much larger concentrations -- up to 2 percent of their total food intake -- than even the most dedicated junk-food eater could encounter.

"Gliomas were seen in the male rats, but with no dose-response, and at levels consistent with historical controls in the particular rat strain. No one has ever been able to find any real-world connection," Lowe wrote.

quicklist:3category: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese media: 19458695 title: Yellow #5 (Tartazine), Yellow #6 food coloring text: Yellow #5 is banned in Norway and Austria due to compounds benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl, the Caltons say.

"Six of the eleven studies on yellow #5 showed that it caused genotoxicity, a deterioration of the cell's genetic material with potential to mutate healthy DNA," the book, "Rich Foods, Poor Foods," states.

Companies in the U.S. are required to list Yellow #5 in their ingredients because some people have sensitivity to it.

"Companies are so sensitive about allergies, but peanut allergies would be far more common than Tartazine," Pariza said.

Yellow #6 is banned in Norway and Finland, the Caltons say, but Lowe said the dye is approved across the EU.

Lowe said benzidine and 4-minobiphenyl are two different names for the same compound, which is known as a human carcinogen.

"But it's not a component of any food dye, certainly not of yellow #5, and it's not even any part of its chemical structure," Lowe said.

A spokeswoman for Kraft provided a statement to ABC News, stating, "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority. We carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold. So in the U.S., we only use ingredients that are approved and deemed safe for food use by the Food and Drug Administration."

The International Food Information Council has said food ingredients are "carefully regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that foods containing them are safe to eat and are accurately labeled."

quicklist:4category: Kraft Catalina Dressingmedia: 19458707title: Red #40text: "Red #40 may contain the carcinogenic contaminant p-Cresidine and is thought to cause tumors of the immune system," according to "Rich Food, Poor Food". "In the UK, it is not recommended for children," the Caltons write, but it is approved for use in the EU.

The ingredient can be found in fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, grenadine, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy and other products, the Caltons say.

Lowe said he can't find evidence for risk of tumors due to Red #40 and Cresidine "is certainly not a contaminant in the dyestuff" but is one pure compound.

"There is a possibility for cresidinesulfonic acid to be produced as a metabolite, but that's a very different substance than Cresidine itself," Lowe said.

Jones said high amounts of some ingredients could be damaging to some people, but that depends on the amount of consumption and the content of one's diet in general.

"Unless you are crazy and you do drink 8 liters of pop a day, your diet is so disordered already, no wonder what you eat is toxic-- eating things in a way that never intended to be eaten," she said.

Kraft said, "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority" and the company "carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold."

quicklist:5category: Mountain Dewmedia: 19458718title: Brominated vegetable oil text: Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, acts as an emulsifier in soda and sports drinks, preventing the flavoring from separating and floating to the surface. The ingredient is banned more than 100 countries because it contains bromine, a chemical whose vapors can be corrosive or toxic, the Caltons say.

Aurora Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for PepsiCo, which owns Mountain Dew, said, "We take consumer safety and product integrity seriously and we can assure you that Mountain Dew is safe. As standard practice, we constantly evaluate our formulas and ingredients to ensure they comply with all regulations and meet the high quality standards our consumers expect."

Lowe said the same chemical dangers of consuming a bromine directly can be said of chlorine.

Bromine-containing compounds can indeed cause bad reactions in people but not because bromine is a corrosive gas, he said.

"When a bromine atom is bonded to a carbon, as it is in BVO, it's no longer bromine-the-pure-element, any more than the chlorine in table salt is the World War I poison gas, or the phosphorus in your DNA is the burning white phosphorus found in military tracer shells," Lowe said.

quicklist:6category: media: 19458532title: Azodicarbonamidetext: This ingredient, which can bleach flour, is banned in Australia, the U.K. and many European countries, said the Caltons, who call it an "asthma-causing" allergen. Up to 45 parts per million is considered safe in the U.S. and it's found in a wide range of breads and baked goods here.

While Lowe acknowledges the chemical can be used to "foam" foamed plastics, "the conditions inside hot plastic, you will be glad to hear, are quite different from those inside warm bread dough," he said. In that environment, azodicarbonamide doesn't react to make birurea - it turns into several gaseous products, which are what blow up the bubbles of the foam, which is not its purpose in bread dough.

While repeated or prolonged contact to the chemical may cause asthma and skin sensitization, Lowe said that refers to the pure chemical and not 45 parts per million in uncooked flour.

"If you're handling drums of the stuff at the plastics plant, you should be wearing protective gear. If you're eating a roll, no," Lowe writes.

quicklist: 7category: flatbread and bagel chipsmedia: 19458610 title: Potassium Bromate (Bromated flour)text: Potassium bromate, which strengthens dough, contains bromine, is also in brominated vegetable oil.

"The good news is that American bread manufacturers tell us that it disappears from the product during baking and deem that potassium bromate is safe as there is only negligible residue," the Caltons write in their book. "However, the pastry chefs in Paris disagree. In fact, government regulatory bodies in Europe, Canada, China, and many other regions have banned the use of this additive. In California, if potassium bromate has been added, a product must carry a warning label."

Lowe points out that bromate is different from bromide and bromine.

"Chloride is the anion in table salt, but it's also the anion in hydrochloric acid. Hypochlorite anion is laundry bleach," said Lowe. "Perchlorate anion is in solid rocket fuel. They're all different that's the point of chemistry."

quicklist: 8category: Ruffles Light media: 19458510title: Olestra (Olean) text: Olestra fat substitute is banned in the U.K. and Canada because it causes a depletion of fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoid, the Caltons say, "robbing us of vital micronutrients that our foods should be delivering."

It is found in Ruffles Light and Lay's WOW chips. Frito-Lay did not return a request for comment about its use of Olestra.

Lowe acknowledges that the non-caloric fat substitute interferes with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, "but potato chips are not a very good source of vitamins to start with," he writes.

He also points out that Olestra is found only in two brands of potato chips, "since it was a major failure in the market."

"And vitamin absorption can be messed with by all kinds of things, including other vitamins (folic acid supplements can interfere with B12 absorption, just to pick one). But I can agree with the plan of not eating the stuff: I think that if you're going to eat potato chips, eat a reasonable amount of the real ones," he writes in his blog.

quicklist: 9category: Chexmedia: 19458520title: Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) text:

Banned in England, and other European countries, "these waxy solids act as preservatives to prevent food from becoming rancid and developing objectionable odors," the Caltons write.

The state of California lists this ingredient as a possible carcinogen.

General Mills did not respond to a request about its use of BHT in Chex cereals.

Lowe said that BHT is approved by the EU and, "Animal studies notwithstanding, attempts to correlate human exposure to these compounds with any types of cancer have always come up negative."

quicklist:category: Some dairy media: 19458685title: rBGH and rBSTtext: Recombinant bovine growth hormone and recombinant bovine somatotropin, a synthetic version of bovine growth hormone, can be found in nonorganic dairy products unless noted on the packaging.

"However, several regions, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the European Union, have banned rBGH and rBST because of their dangerous impacts on both humanand bovine health," the Caltons say.

American dairy producer, Stonyfield, opposes the use of rBST because of economics and cow health.

"An increase in milk supply generally leads to a drop in the price paid to farmers," Stonyfield says on its website. "Price drops have put many farms out of business."

In 1993, the FDA approved the use of rBST in dairy cows based on a review of existing scientific studies.

Beth Meyer, a spokeswoman for the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council Inc (ADADC), a regional organization representing dairy farmers in New York, northern New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania, said over the last 20 years rBST has been heavily researched and separate reviews by the National Institutes of Health, the joint World Health Organization/Food And Agriculture Organization Committee, the American Medical Association, as well as regulatory agencies in Canada and the European Union have corroborated the FDA's conclusion.

"RBST is one of many management tools used by U.S. dairy farmers to provide a safe, affordable food supply," she said.

Canada and several European countries have affirmed that milk produced from rBST cows is safe for human consumption. These countries don't allow the sale of rBST to local farmers for reasons including economics, social customs and general opposition to technological advances used to promote efficient food production, not human health concerns.

Bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is given to dairy cattle to increase milk production, Lowe said, and BGH levels in the milk of treated cows are not higher than in untreated ones.

"Secondly, BGH is not active as a growth hormone in humans - it's selective for the cow receptor, not the human one," he said.

Lowe points out BGH was banned in some countries due to animal welfare concerns. "As far as human health, there doesn't seem to be any evidence it's bad for humans," he said.

quicklist:category: Chicken feed media: 19458620title: Arsenic text:

The Caltons warn about traces of arsenic, which has been banned in all foods in the EU, that can be found in some chicken feed.

But the National Chicken Council says chickens raised for meat or broilers (for meat production) are no longer given any feed additives containing arsenic.

"Broilers used to be given a product called Roxarsone which contained trace amounts of arsenic, but it was pulled from the market in 2011 and is no longer manufactured. No other products containing arsenic are currently fed to broilers in the U.S." said Tom Super, spokesman for the council.

Lowe points out that 100 parts per billion of inorganic arsenic have been found in white rice, though he said that doesn't pose a human health risk.

Arsenic can be found in groundwater supplies in a number of countries, according to the World Health Organization.

"It's very hard to have a diet anywhere in the world that doesn't have a trace amount of arsenic," Jones said.


11 Food Ingredients Banned Outside the U.S. That We Eat

Some experts say there's no reason to worry if you eat these foods.

June 26, 2013 — -- intro: A recently published list of foods banned in countries outside the U.S. has riled the plates of many in the food industry.

Last week, Buzzfeed published a list of 8 ingredients banned outside the U.S. that are found in foods in America. The list was derived from the book, Rich Food, Poor Food: The Ultimate Grocery Purchasing System, written by husband and wife team Jayson Calton, who has a Ph.D. in nutrition, and Mira Calton, a licensed certified nutritionist.

Said Mira Calton: "We call it our GPS of grocery purchasing system: how to identify dangerous ingredients -- so people can shop safe and smart in the grocery store."

The book includes a list of banned foods and dangerous foods, which they call "poor food."

Calton said manufacturers are not putting these ingredients in their food to be "bad people."

"It might have been part of their original formula and sometimes they don't know," Calton said.

The Food and Drug Administration assures the public that despite the frenzy over the list of ingredients banned in some countries outside the U.S., it is doing its job of monitoring food safety.

"As part of FDA's overall commitment to ensure the safety of the food supply, the agency uses an extensive, science-based process to evaluate the safety of food additives," the agency said in a statement to ABC News. "The law requires that the FDA determine there is reasonable certainty that an additive does not cause harm when it is used as intended. The agency continues to monitor the science on food additives and is prepared to take appropriate action if there are safety concerns. When determining that a food or ingredient is 'generally recognized as safe' or GRAS for its intended use in food, the same quantity and quality of evidence is required as is needed to approve a food additive."

Derek Lowe, a chemist who has a Ph.D. from Duke University, said the list is an example of "chemophobia." He told ABC News his reaction to the viral online list was "incredulity and revulsion."

"The thing is, I'm not reflexively saying people should eat all the food additives they can find. I don't myself. But the amount of understanding in the article was so minimal, it really pushed my buttons as a scientist," Lowe said.

The Caltons said they are not calling on the FDA to ban these ingredients, but they said "all of the ingredients on the list pose a potential danger to consumers and we feel the consumer should be made aware so that they can make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to buy a product with these ingredients."

Julie Jones, a professor emeritus with St. Catherine University in Minnesota and author of the textbook, Food Safety, said what drives one country to ban a food and not another often has to do with as much politics as it does science.

If one believes Paracelsus's principle, "the dose makes the poison," Jones said she believes these products have gone through the correct due diligence in the U.S.

"We have science and politics and they are different in each country," Jones said.

Here are 11 ingredients noted as banned in other countries and what some experts have to say about them:

quicklist:1category: Nutrigrain Barsmedia: 19458499title: Blue #1 food coloringtext: Banned in Norway, Finland and France, Blue #1 and Blue #2 can be found in candy, cereal, drinks and pet food in the U.S., the Caltons say.

Kellogg's did not reply to multiple requests for comment about its use of Blue #1 listed as an ingredient in some Nutrigrain bars.

Michael Pariza, professor emeritus of food science and past director of Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said most food dyes are not dangerous, with the exception of Yellow #5, but they can influence our perception of food -- for better or worse.

"Taste, appearance and smell all go together. You can have the most fantastic, nutritious thing in the world, but if it looks bad and smells bad, you're not going to eat it," he said.

Blue #1 was at one point banned in several other European countries, but the EU later certified it as safe, said Lowe. Norway banned almost all food dyes from 1978 until 2001, but since then, they have had virtually the same regulations as the EU, he added.

Lowe said synthesized compounds, when used in food, "are often things that are effective in small amounts, because they're so expensive," as is the case with artificial dyes.

"People see the bright colors in cake icing and sugary cereals and figure that the stuff must be glopped on like paint, but paint doesn't have very much dye or pigment in it, either," Lowe writes in his blog.

quicklist:2category: M&Msmedia: 19458657title: Blue #2 food coloringtext: "Until the twentieth century, food coloring was obtained from natural sources," Jayson and Mira Calton write in "Rich Food, Poor Food." "People gathered spices, like saffron and turmeric, to add rich hues to their otherwise bland-colored foods. While this method may have been somewhat limiting in shades, at least it was safe. Today, most artificial colors are made from coal tar."

Blue #2 is listed as an ingredient in Mars' M&Ms. In a statement from Mars, the company said, "Around the globe there can be slightly different formulations and products available based on both local requirements and consumer preferences. All the colors we use in our products, no matter where they are sold, comply with our own strict internal quality and safety requirements as well as all applicable laws, regulations and safety assessments relating to colors added to food. All colors are declared on the label in accordance with applicable national laws and regulations and always meet the highest safety standards."

Lowe said the concern about blue food dye's connection to brain cancer is "unproven," referring to studies in the 1980s with Blue #2. Lowe said rats were fed the dye over a long period in much larger concentrations -- up to 2 percent of their total food intake -- than even the most dedicated junk-food eater could encounter.

"Gliomas were seen in the male rats, but with no dose-response, and at levels consistent with historical controls in the particular rat strain. No one has ever been able to find any real-world connection," Lowe wrote.

quicklist:3category: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese media: 19458695 title: Yellow #5 (Tartazine), Yellow #6 food coloring text: Yellow #5 is banned in Norway and Austria due to compounds benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl, the Caltons say.

"Six of the eleven studies on yellow #5 showed that it caused genotoxicity, a deterioration of the cell's genetic material with potential to mutate healthy DNA," the book, "Rich Foods, Poor Foods," states.

Companies in the U.S. are required to list Yellow #5 in their ingredients because some people have sensitivity to it.

"Companies are so sensitive about allergies, but peanut allergies would be far more common than Tartazine," Pariza said.

Yellow #6 is banned in Norway and Finland, the Caltons say, but Lowe said the dye is approved across the EU.

Lowe said benzidine and 4-minobiphenyl are two different names for the same compound, which is known as a human carcinogen.

"But it's not a component of any food dye, certainly not of yellow #5, and it's not even any part of its chemical structure," Lowe said.

A spokeswoman for Kraft provided a statement to ABC News, stating, "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority. We carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold. So in the U.S., we only use ingredients that are approved and deemed safe for food use by the Food and Drug Administration."

The International Food Information Council has said food ingredients are "carefully regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that foods containing them are safe to eat and are accurately labeled."

quicklist:4category: Kraft Catalina Dressingmedia: 19458707title: Red #40text: "Red #40 may contain the carcinogenic contaminant p-Cresidine and is thought to cause tumors of the immune system," according to "Rich Food, Poor Food". "In the UK, it is not recommended for children," the Caltons write, but it is approved for use in the EU.

The ingredient can be found in fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, grenadine, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy and other products, the Caltons say.

Lowe said he can't find evidence for risk of tumors due to Red #40 and Cresidine "is certainly not a contaminant in the dyestuff" but is one pure compound.

"There is a possibility for cresidinesulfonic acid to be produced as a metabolite, but that's a very different substance than Cresidine itself," Lowe said.

Jones said high amounts of some ingredients could be damaging to some people, but that depends on the amount of consumption and the content of one's diet in general.

"Unless you are crazy and you do drink 8 liters of pop a day, your diet is so disordered already, no wonder what you eat is toxic-- eating things in a way that never intended to be eaten," she said.

Kraft said, "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority" and the company "carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold."

quicklist:5category: Mountain Dewmedia: 19458718title: Brominated vegetable oil text: Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, acts as an emulsifier in soda and sports drinks, preventing the flavoring from separating and floating to the surface. The ingredient is banned more than 100 countries because it contains bromine, a chemical whose vapors can be corrosive or toxic, the Caltons say.

Aurora Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for PepsiCo, which owns Mountain Dew, said, "We take consumer safety and product integrity seriously and we can assure you that Mountain Dew is safe. As standard practice, we constantly evaluate our formulas and ingredients to ensure they comply with all regulations and meet the high quality standards our consumers expect."

Lowe said the same chemical dangers of consuming a bromine directly can be said of chlorine.

Bromine-containing compounds can indeed cause bad reactions in people but not because bromine is a corrosive gas, he said.

"When a bromine atom is bonded to a carbon, as it is in BVO, it's no longer bromine-the-pure-element, any more than the chlorine in table salt is the World War I poison gas, or the phosphorus in your DNA is the burning white phosphorus found in military tracer shells," Lowe said.

quicklist:6category: media: 19458532title: Azodicarbonamidetext: This ingredient, which can bleach flour, is banned in Australia, the U.K. and many European countries, said the Caltons, who call it an "asthma-causing" allergen. Up to 45 parts per million is considered safe in the U.S. and it's found in a wide range of breads and baked goods here.

While Lowe acknowledges the chemical can be used to "foam" foamed plastics, "the conditions inside hot plastic, you will be glad to hear, are quite different from those inside warm bread dough," he said. In that environment, azodicarbonamide doesn't react to make birurea - it turns into several gaseous products, which are what blow up the bubbles of the foam, which is not its purpose in bread dough.

While repeated or prolonged contact to the chemical may cause asthma and skin sensitization, Lowe said that refers to the pure chemical and not 45 parts per million in uncooked flour.

"If you're handling drums of the stuff at the plastics plant, you should be wearing protective gear. If you're eating a roll, no," Lowe writes.

quicklist: 7category: flatbread and bagel chipsmedia: 19458610 title: Potassium Bromate (Bromated flour)text: Potassium bromate, which strengthens dough, contains bromine, is also in brominated vegetable oil.

"The good news is that American bread manufacturers tell us that it disappears from the product during baking and deem that potassium bromate is safe as there is only negligible residue," the Caltons write in their book. "However, the pastry chefs in Paris disagree. In fact, government regulatory bodies in Europe, Canada, China, and many other regions have banned the use of this additive. In California, if potassium bromate has been added, a product must carry a warning label."

Lowe points out that bromate is different from bromide and bromine.

"Chloride is the anion in table salt, but it's also the anion in hydrochloric acid. Hypochlorite anion is laundry bleach," said Lowe. "Perchlorate anion is in solid rocket fuel. They're all different that's the point of chemistry."

quicklist: 8category: Ruffles Light media: 19458510title: Olestra (Olean) text: Olestra fat substitute is banned in the U.K. and Canada because it causes a depletion of fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoid, the Caltons say, "robbing us of vital micronutrients that our foods should be delivering."

It is found in Ruffles Light and Lay's WOW chips. Frito-Lay did not return a request for comment about its use of Olestra.

Lowe acknowledges that the non-caloric fat substitute interferes with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, "but potato chips are not a very good source of vitamins to start with," he writes.

He also points out that Olestra is found only in two brands of potato chips, "since it was a major failure in the market."

"And vitamin absorption can be messed with by all kinds of things, including other vitamins (folic acid supplements can interfere with B12 absorption, just to pick one). But I can agree with the plan of not eating the stuff: I think that if you're going to eat potato chips, eat a reasonable amount of the real ones," he writes in his blog.

quicklist: 9category: Chexmedia: 19458520title: Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) text:

Banned in England, and other European countries, "these waxy solids act as preservatives to prevent food from becoming rancid and developing objectionable odors," the Caltons write.

The state of California lists this ingredient as a possible carcinogen.

General Mills did not respond to a request about its use of BHT in Chex cereals.

Lowe said that BHT is approved by the EU and, "Animal studies notwithstanding, attempts to correlate human exposure to these compounds with any types of cancer have always come up negative."

quicklist:category: Some dairy media: 19458685title: rBGH and rBSTtext: Recombinant bovine growth hormone and recombinant bovine somatotropin, a synthetic version of bovine growth hormone, can be found in nonorganic dairy products unless noted on the packaging.

"However, several regions, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the European Union, have banned rBGH and rBST because of their dangerous impacts on both humanand bovine health," the Caltons say.

American dairy producer, Stonyfield, opposes the use of rBST because of economics and cow health.

"An increase in milk supply generally leads to a drop in the price paid to farmers," Stonyfield says on its website. "Price drops have put many farms out of business."

In 1993, the FDA approved the use of rBST in dairy cows based on a review of existing scientific studies.

Beth Meyer, a spokeswoman for the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council Inc (ADADC), a regional organization representing dairy farmers in New York, northern New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania, said over the last 20 years rBST has been heavily researched and separate reviews by the National Institutes of Health, the joint World Health Organization/Food And Agriculture Organization Committee, the American Medical Association, as well as regulatory agencies in Canada and the European Union have corroborated the FDA's conclusion.

"RBST is one of many management tools used by U.S. dairy farmers to provide a safe, affordable food supply," she said.

Canada and several European countries have affirmed that milk produced from rBST cows is safe for human consumption. These countries don't allow the sale of rBST to local farmers for reasons including economics, social customs and general opposition to technological advances used to promote efficient food production, not human health concerns.

Bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is given to dairy cattle to increase milk production, Lowe said, and BGH levels in the milk of treated cows are not higher than in untreated ones.

"Secondly, BGH is not active as a growth hormone in humans - it's selective for the cow receptor, not the human one," he said.

Lowe points out BGH was banned in some countries due to animal welfare concerns. "As far as human health, there doesn't seem to be any evidence it's bad for humans," he said.

quicklist:category: Chicken feed media: 19458620title: Arsenic text:

The Caltons warn about traces of arsenic, which has been banned in all foods in the EU, that can be found in some chicken feed.

But the National Chicken Council says chickens raised for meat or broilers (for meat production) are no longer given any feed additives containing arsenic.

"Broilers used to be given a product called Roxarsone which contained trace amounts of arsenic, but it was pulled from the market in 2011 and is no longer manufactured. No other products containing arsenic are currently fed to broilers in the U.S." said Tom Super, spokesman for the council.

Lowe points out that 100 parts per billion of inorganic arsenic have been found in white rice, though he said that doesn't pose a human health risk.

Arsenic can be found in groundwater supplies in a number of countries, according to the World Health Organization.

"It's very hard to have a diet anywhere in the world that doesn't have a trace amount of arsenic," Jones said.