11 American Foods that are Banned in Other Countries

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11 American Foods that are Banned in Other Countries

Did you know that most Americans eat foods on a daily basis that are banned in other countries because they are known to cause inflammation, growth defects, and even cancer? For numerous reasons the US government and FDA allows those foods into your food supply.

Here’s a list of 10 common American foods banned in other countries:

1. Hormone-Infused Beef and Milk

Non-organic farms often inject their cows with growth hormones (rBGH) to increase milk production and promote faster growth. Those milk boosting hormones often lead to inflammation of the cow’s breast tissue, which is treated with antibiotics. This is one of the reasons that some people prefer to avoid milk and I’ve already written in the past about healthy and easy homemade milk substitutes.


Meat or dairy coming from these injected cows are linked to increase the risk of breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer. rBGH infused beef or dairy is banned in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, the European Union, and Canada.

2. Food Preservative (BHA and BHT)

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are 2 common food preservatives used to prevent oils from going rancid. BHT has a waxy consistency and can be found in cereals, nut mixes and bubblegum.

There is strong evidence that BHT and BHA are carcinogenic and are banned in UK’s baby food, and completely in most EU countries and Japan. BHA is also linked to trigger allergic reactions and can cause hyperactivity.

3. Arsenic-laced Chicken

This poison is permitted by the FDA to use in poultry feed to stimulate growth and make the meat look pinker. Long-term exposure to arsenic can cause digestive disorders, muscle cramps, numbness of extremities, skin lesions and skin cancer.

Arsenic based compounds are not only banned in the EU but have never been approved for use in animal feed.

4. Genetically Modified Papayas

Papaya is one of my most favorite fruits and it’s a key ingredient in my Digestive Enzyme detox smoothie but did you know that most Hawaiian papayas are genetically modified to protect them for the ringspot virus? More and more research studies are linking GMOs to a wide range of diseases like intestinal damage, tissue damage, tumors, birth defects, and infertility.

At this point, GM papayas are not approved in the EU. Until now, no application for approval has been submitted. Therefore, importing and marketing genetically modified papayas is not permitted in the EU.

In general, GMO regulations are much more strict in the EU – The European Union (EU) may have the most stringent GMO regulations in the world. All GMOs, along with irradiated food, are considered “new food” and are subject to extensive, case-by-case, science-based food evaluation by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

5. Irradiated meat

This treatment is used to preserve food, reduce the risk of food borne illness and prevent the spread of invasive pests. Food irradiation is criticized because of its potential to cause chemical changes in the food and the potential danger of these substances.

In many countries of the European Union only dried herbs, spices, and seasonings can be processed with irradiation and only at a specific dose.

6. Toxic Soft and Energy Drinks

Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is used by the food industry to emulsify citrus-flavored soft and energy drinks like Mountain Dew and Stars & Stripes. Although the FDA considers BVO as a safe food additive, in Europe, India, and Japan it is banned and considered toxic.

Excessive consumption can lead to memory loss, fatigue, loss of appetite, acne, skin rashes, headaches, migraines, muscle loss, muscle spasms, thyroid issues, birth defects, growth problems, and cancer.


You don’t need to buy these toxic energy drinks – just make your own ultimate super food energy smoothie or just use my own 8 secrets for endless energy.

7. Artificial Food Coloring In Processed foods

I’ve written in the past about the dangers of artificial colors in my article about the top 10 worst ingredients in food. Artificial color additives are added to almost all the processed food on the US market. Many cause inflammation, birth defects, allergies and increase the risk of cancer. In the US over 3,000 different kinds of additives are found, and most of them are banned in other countries.

Red 40, blue 1, blue 2, yellow 5, and yellow are the most common used colorings in American foods like boxed mac and cheese, cheddar flavored crackers, cereals, and Jell-O.

Food additives and colorings are banned in Norway and Austria and the British government advices against the use but they are still allowed though. In the EU most food requires a warning when colorings or additives are added.

8. Toxic Pork

Ractopamine, a drug that increases protein levels and muscle mass, is found in up 45% of the US pigs. This drug is added to their food and a few days before slaughter the animals are pumped with this drug. Up to 20% remains in the meat that end up in the supermarkets. Ractopamine is linked to infertility, birth defects, genetic mutations, and it affects the human cardiovascular system.

In Europe, China, and Russia ractopamine is banned.

9. Bread With Potassium Bromate

Did you know that almost every time you eat a slice of bread, hamburger bun or other flour-based food in a restaurant, you are eating potassium bromide? This additive is often added to flours to make the dough more elastic and decrease baking time. Potassium bromate has been linked to kidney and nerve damage, thyroid issues, digestive disorders, and cancer.

Potassium bromate is banned in Canada, China, and EU.


10. Olestra/Olean

Olestra or Olean is found in diet or fat-free chips like fat-free Pringles, ruffles, and lays. It prevents vitamin and carotenoid absorption and can cause digestive issues. So fat-free is definitely not the healthier snack option. The use of Olestra is banned in the UK and Canada.

11. Pink Slime

This name is used in the meat industry and is produced by processing low-grade beef trimmings and other meat by-products such and is added to other meat products such as beef-based processed meats.

In the United States, products can contain up to 15% of pink slime without additional labeling, and it can also be added to other meat products such as beef-based processed meats. Because of the use of ammonium hydroxide in its processing, the product is not permitted in Canada. The product also does not meet the legal requirements for sale in the UK, and the European Union has banned it and other mechanically separated meats for human consumption.

What About Arsenic Found In Some Common Breakfast Cereals?

It has emerged that consumers are often exposed to arsenic in the amounts that exceed the recommended safety limits.

There are two types of arsenic present in food and water: organic and inorganic. Organic arsenic occurs naturally and is rapidly eliminated by the body. It is often found in seafood. Inorganic arsenic is the problematic one and is used in pesticides and other industrial chemicals.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 9,100 deaths were attributed to drinking arsenic-contaminated water in Bangladesh in 2001. In 2010, the WHO published a paper that outlined the dangers of arsenic exposure. They called arsenic exposure a major public health concern.


Testing rice products

When different rice products were tested, many of them showed high levels of inorganic arsenic. Some of these products were aimed at babies, such as soy-based formula with added organic brown rice syrup. Kellogg’s Rice Krispies, which are often consumed by children, also tested high above the recommended levels. Kellogg’s spokesperson dismissed the report stating that the tests done by their company showed that the arsenic levels were within the limits of the most up to date proposals.

The problem with maximum arsenic levels allowed in food

At the moment, there is no consensus on the maximum levels of arsenic that should be allowed in food, and this is already part of the problem. There are, however, strict limits for the amount of arsenic allowed in the water. Rice and rice products are usually contaminated with inorganic arsenic because they are prepared and cooked with high-arsenic water, or food crops are irrigated with contaminated water.

There are different lobbies trying to influence the decision on safe arsenic levels in food. Professor Andrew Meharg, Professor of Biological Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast, says that the European Union’s future standards for arsenic levels in baby rice are set too high. They should be half of the proposed 100 parts per billion according to Professor Meharg. It seems that once again the interest of rice traders is put ahead of public health interest.

Arsenic effects on the body

Soluble inorganic arsenic has both acute and chronic effects on the human body. Acute exposure can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Effects of long-term exposure can take years to develop. They include skin lesions, peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. Arsenic can cause cancers of the skin, bladder and lungs, and there is limited evidence that it may also cause cancers of the kidney, liver and prostate. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified arsenic and arsenic compounds as carcinogenic to humans.

The combination of arsenic and estrogen

Experts warn that the combination of arsenic and estrogen is particularly toxic. Soy-based baby formulas, which were mentioned earlier in the article, also contain phytoestrogens, which makes them extremely disease promoting (read my previous article about soy). Researchers from Texas Tech University showed that individuals exposed to both arsenic and estrogens were twice as likely to develop prostate cancer.

People around the world consume more and more rice. If there are no transparent and safe standards set soon, arsenic exposure might become a serious global problem.

Take control of your health and opt for fresh, whole foods to avoid all those questionable ingredients that are banned in other countries and linked to many diseases.

Always make sure to read the labels and opt for products that are the least processed. Reading food labels is one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health. You can also find more information about other harmful ingredients in food in my article:

Top 10 Worst Ingredients In Food

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14 Responses to 11 American Foods that are Banned in Other Countries

  1. Barbara Daniel says:

    Trying to really eat healthy . Not so much vegan or paleo diets.,just real food!!!

  2. Kirsten says:

    There are so many articles about US food on the web. Do you perhaps have any information about the state of our food here in South Africa? It’s so difficult to find good information about it.

  3. Nikki says:

    This is the best site for health and nutrition that I have ever read, and I have read heaps. Keep up the good work of making the world a healthier place. I now have a wealth of knowledge that I pass on to family and friends via your site 😉

  4. Rach says:

    I’m a mom of a 2 year old in tx it’s very sad that their is such a problem with food. And my son is picky as it is. What should we eat? Bc everything that is healthy is expensive ( it seems)

  5. Jason says:

    Excellent information! I’m a frequent traveler to the EU – Germany especially. I’d love to see a follow-up to this article noting some of the foods which are banned in the U.S., but allowed in the EU and other parts of the world.

  6. AhiruAhiru says:

    While there are quite a fee foods that are banned in other countries, the reverse is also true. I understand having more awareness about ingredients in our food, do keep in mind that there are flaws in every system and not just our own. Also keep in mind that that for every suspect thing that is allowed by the FDA, there are hundreds that are not and kept under tight control. There are countries that have almost no regulation or have massive flaws (including corruption), including some of the countries named above.

  7. Nikki says:

    Hmmm interesting because I live in the EU and have seen many of these here….especially those toxic energy drinks so popular in the US.

  8. Justin says:

    Thank you for the article…in Arkansas I can get VEGETABLES from the market that are grown here but meat and particular the pretreatment of it has always worries me, I forgot about milk almost completely, rejuvenated my inspections before feeding my kids

  9. Patricia says:

    I am from the US. I grew up on a farm and our farm does not add any of that crap into our animals. As for everything else. Look through the list at how many of these items cause cancer. Everything now days “causes cancer” the thing I love is if you actually are diagnosed with cancer the doctors have no idea how you got it. I am still going to eat the same way I did before. If I was afraid I was going to die with what I eat I guess I should also be scared to leave the house everyday because I could get hit by a car or anything.

    • Kat says:

      Everything causes cancer because our government and big buisiness are poisoning us to make money. My family eats fresh and I can’t remember the last time in years any of us have even had a cold.

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