17 Dangerous Foods Americans Eat That Are Banned In Other Countries

A competitive marketplace means that US food companies have to get things done fast and cheap, often at the expense of human health. These are just some of the absurd things that can legally be stocked on grocery shelves.

Pink Slime


ytimg.comThis stuff is (apparently) meat. More exactly, the clingy meat that’s pulled from the bone by a machine, including a little cartlidge. Pink slime is used as an additive to bulk up cheap meat. livescience.com

Found in: Hot dogs, burgers.
Health Hazards: This ‘meat’ is more likely to carry pathogens because it’s pulled from the bone.
Banned in: European Union

Genetically Engineered Food


customsabc.comMany of the papayas that make their way to the US are genetically modified to be ringspot virus-resistant. While we don’t fully know the effect of genetically engineered foods on humans, many European countries are opposed to the idea because of the effect these crops have on animals.organicconsumers.org

Found in: Papayas, corn, and many other crops.
Health Hazards: Animals fed GE foods have suffered intestinal and organ damage, tumors, birth defects, premature death and in some cases, sterility by the third generation.
Banned in: Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Luxembourg.



dairyreporter.comCarrageenan is used as an emulsifier and thickener in processed dairy goods, including baby formula. It has been found to cause gastrointestinal inflammation which can be especially dangerous to young children. dailybreeze.com

Found in: Processed dairy goods, including baby formula.
Health Hazards: Causes gastrointestinal problems.
Banned in: Infant formulas in the European Union.



bioenergyigert.files.wordpress.comAtrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides in the US. This particular herbicide is notorious because it has been known to leak through the ground and contaminate drinking water. Like other herbicides, small doses also transfer into humans via the crops that we eat.motherjones.com

Found in: Drinking water, crops.
Health Hazards: Has been linked to reproductive problems.
Banned in: European Union

Hormone-infused American Beef and Milk


exposenewsnetwork.comMuch of the US beef and milk cattle are fed synthetic hormones prior to their slaughter or milking in an attempt to get as much product out of the cow as possible. The National Cancer Association has since seen cases of hormonal cancer rise. huffingtonpost.com

Found in: American beef and milk
Health Hazards: Cancer
Banned in: European Union, Japan, Australia, and China

Arsenic-laced Chicken


blogs.plos.orgAsk someone to name a poison and arsenic will be one of the first things to come to mind. Oddly enough, it’s in the chicken that we eat because it makes their blood vessels appear pinker and, therefore, fresher. On top of this, arsenic-laced chicken manure is commonly used to feed cows, spreading the substance to their meat as well. motherjones.com

Found in: Poultry and manure fed cows
Health Hazards: Cancer
Banned in: European Union

Pork Infused with Asthma Medication


wikimedia.orgRactopamine is a drug that makes its way into most pig and cattle feed. Similar stuff is commonly used in asthma medication and makes animals more muscular while reducing fat and increasing profit margins. mercola.com

Found in: Pork and beef
Health Hazards: Weight gain, increased heart rate, insomnia, headaches, and tremors.
Banned in: Unsurprisingly, this additive has been banned in the European Union, Russia,
and even China.

Toxic Energy Drinks


dialog.scarborough.comBrominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) is an emulsifier – it stops flavouring from separating and floating to the surface of sports drinks. The main ingredient, bromine, is a poisonous chemical used in flame retardant that is considered corrosive and toxic.kitchendaily.com

Found in: Sports drinks
Health Hazards: Thyroid issues, autoimmune disease, major organ system damage, birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia, hearing loss and cancer amongst rats.
Banned in: Over 100 countries

Coal Tar and Oil Artificial Coloring


lindenplaceproperty.comColor additives such as red 40 and yellow 5 are artificially created from coal tar and petroleum. Research has shown that bland coloured food is far less appealing to customers, so companies pump food full of this stuff. buzzfeed.com

Found in: Pretty much everything we eat, from candy to macaroni and cheese.
Health Hazards: Brain cancer, nerve-cell deterioration, and hyperactivity in children.
Banned in: Much of the European Union

Chicken Washed in Chlorine


0.tqn.comThousands upon thousands of chickens are stuffed into small warehouses to produce cheap meat on a large scale. Needless to say, the chickens pick up a lot of harmful pathogens, so, their meat is washed with a chemical that has been weaponized to kill off any germs.

Found in: Chicken
Banned in: European Union

Fat Free Chips


imagescaler.hbpl.co.uk‘Light’ chips are better for you, right? Not if they have Olestra in them. This fat substitute has been known to cause anal leakage and reduce the amount of vitamins found in the human body. kitchendaily.com

Found in: Fat-free chips
Health Hazards: Oily anal leakage and vitamin depletion
Banned in: UK and Canada, amongst many others.

Toxic Bread


wordpress.comThe US food industry seems to be obsessed with using toxic chemicals in its products. Bromine makes a return in the form of a flour-bulking agent which reduces the amount of time needed for baking. kitchendaily.com

Found in: Rolls, wraps and flat bread.
Health Hazards: Kidney and nervous system disorders, gastrointestinal discomfort and cancer amongst rats.
Banned in: European Union, Canada, Brazil and China

Bleached Flour


ichef.bbci.co.ukWhile most countries wait for flour to naturally whiten, US food companies add azodicarbonamide to bleach the flour as quickly as possible. This chemical is also found in sneaker soles. kitchendaily.com

Found in: Bread, boxed pasta and baked goods.
Health Hazards: Has been linked to asthma
Banned in: In Singapore, you can face 15 years in jail for using the chemical in food

Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene


confectionerynews.comButylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene are two delicious sounding chemicals that are used to stop food from becoming rancid. buzzfeed.com

Found in: Cereal, gum, butter and meat
Health Hazards: Has been linked to cancer
Banned in: UK and Japan

Antibiotic-infused Meat


greenretaildecisions.comAntibiotics are commonly used on US farms to promote animal growth and combat the unnatural and squalid conditions of their pens. Around 80% of all antibiotic use in the US is in cows, salmon and other animals. motherjones.com

Found in: Meat
Health Hazards: The overuse of antibiotics may be linked to an increase in drug-resistant bacteria that make people sick.
Banned in: European Union, Australia and New Zealand

Irradiated Meat


thechronicleherald.caFood in the US is often exposed to low levels of radiation as a method of preservation and to stop food borne illness. The European Union only allows irradiation to take place in herbs and spices and argue that it is an unnecessary – and potentially dangerous – replacement for good hygiene in the food industry. foodcomm.org.uk

Found in: Meat as well as fresh fruit and vegetables.
Health Hazards: Fear that irradiation could initiate dangerous chemical changes in food.
Banned in: European Union

Phosphate Additives


sandgresources.comPhosphates are often added to meat to enhance moisture absorbance, color and flavor and to reduce shrinkage of poultry. care2.com

Found in: Meat
Health Hazards: Phosphate is an arterial toxin and increases heart disease risk. Phosphate additives may also increase the number of harmful bacteria in chicken.
Banned in: European Union

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