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Think you can trust the government? Think again. Myriad ingredients banned in other countries are still in our food supply, mixed into your meal so corporations can get a little more out of every buck.

I tell people, “Our food supply is being poisoned.” Then I usually follow with, “I know that sounds like I am a conspiracy theorist, but really, if you start reading labels and doing some research, you’ll find it out for yourself.”

Our food supply is contaminated with tons of food additives: color additives, emulsifiers, faux fats, flavor enhancers, preservatives, stabilizers, thickeners, binders, and more! The total market value of food additives in the U.S. increased from $4.3 billion in 2007 to $4.8 billion in 2012. The projected market value of these food additives will increase even more rapidly during 2013 through 2018, from $4.9 billion to $5.8 billion.

“For numerous, suspicious and disturbing reasons, the U.S. has allowed foods that are banned in many other developed countries into our food supply,” says nutritionist Mira Calton who, together with her husband Jayson Calton, Ph.D., wrote the new book Rich Food, Poor Food.

Banned Food Additives In Our Food Supply

Here are the five banned ingredients that are still showing up in our food supply. Read the labels and be sure to always avoid these.

1. Counterfeit Colors (Blue 1, Blue 2, Yellow5, and Yellow 6)

Colors appeal and tempt the eye; hence, we have so many brightly colored cakes, candies, sport drinks and sodas. But don’t let the appearance of things fool you. These colors are carcinogenic and can mutate our DNA. Surprisingly, these bright, gimmicky ingredients won’t be disappearing anytime soon unless we create a fuss, read the labels in the food supply and share this article!

2. Olestra (aka Olean)

“It took a quarter of a century and a billion dollars to create this Frankenfat but it didn’t take the U.K. or Canada very long to ban it completely,” says Jayson Calton, Ph.D.

This faux-fat depletes the body’s ability to process and absorb fat soluble vitamins, which we need for good health. It can also cause serious issues with your gastrointestinal tract. So don’t be surprised if you eat olestra-infused chips and have irritable bowel syndrome. In order to bring relief to your body, get yourself a Squatty Potty and a super dose of probiotics to start repairing any damage done to your gut.

3. Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)

Found in sports drinks and citrus-flavored sodas, “this emulsifier prevents flavoring from separating and floating to the surface of beverages,” says Calton. High levels of this lovely additive mess up your thyroid and can cause thyroid cancer, since it prevents the thyroid from absorbing iodine. The main function of the thyroid in the endocrine system is to regulate your metabolism. The endocrine systme is your body’s ability to break down food and convert it to energy. BVO has been banned in 100 other countries; however, the United States regards it as safe when consumed on an interim basis. Long live America!

 4. Potassium Bromate (aka Brominated Flour)

Always make sure your food doesn’t come with a warning label! “This flour-bulking agent can be found in rolls, wraps, flatbread, bread crumbs, and bagel chips to help strengthen dough, reducing the amount of time needed for baking, which results in lowered costs,” says Calton. Manufacturers use potassium bromate, a carcinogen, which is made with the same toxic chemical found in BVO (bromine), even though the Food and Drug Administration “encourages” otherwise. If you want to screw up your tummy, destroy your nervous system, and/or devastate your kidneys, eat up.

5. Azodicarbonamide

While most countries wait a week for flour to whiten naturally, the American food supply processors prefer to use azodicarbonamide to bleach flour immediately. This ingredient has quite a range of uses. Unfortunately, it’s found in bread and sneaker soles alike, adding a certain bounce factor to foods or foamed plastics. Read more about this additive here.

It’s up to us to leave these nasty ingredients on the shelves. Do not let big corporations continue to poison our food supply and you for a quick buck! Fortunately, perceived loopholes in the FDA’s additive approval process are stirring public concern and political will to revise their policies. Let’s keep pressuring them until we see significant and positive changes.

Listen to the authors of Rich Food, Poor Food here:

Maryam Henein is an investigative journalist, professional researcher, and producer of the award-winning documentary Vanishing of the Bees.

33 thoughts on “5 Banned Ingredients Still In Our Food Supply”

  1. simpsontruckdriver

    Most food coloring is transported by truck (what I used to do) dissolved in Ethanol (liquor). So, a 50 gallon drum of food coloring/Ethanol is highly flammable, and is considered Hazardous Material.

    Only truck drivers who have a Hazardous Materials (HazMat) endorsement on their Commercial Drivers License (CDL) can transport it, and the trailer needs HazMat placards on the sides and rear door.

  2. I love getting information like this, but the 13 items listed aren’t really foods, are they? Would love the info without the hype.

  3. Kathy Swanstrom

    This article is so important, and without this information, no physician can trace the source of the problems developing;they always need “evidence” as do lawyers. Makes me want to eat NOTHING rather than die of sweetened, fake food that tastes (?) delicious. Am first starting to feel “sick” from food and I am 70-yrs old….Thanks for the heads up!

  4. Good information. This is my first time on your site. Came here via a trusted friend. Unfortunately my sensationalism radar is in overdrive, particularly on topics that are in vogue and on the internet. Source links (other than the authors of the book/owners of the site) at the end of the article to corroborate some of the information would go a long way to lend credibility to first time visitors who aren’t familiar with the authors. Just a thought from someone who used to be in healthcare and is used to research-based articles 🙂

  5. Excellent article! Unfortunately, I fear that 13 is just scraping the surface. And yes these aren’t “foods” at all. Grocery shopping is an adventure… you really need to read every label very carefully! I find it best to stick to whole foods and produce, but even doing that, there are the issues of GMOs, pesticides, and arsenic, just to name a few concerns. I’ve joined your page in hopes of learning more from the rest of the “hive” about making the right food choices. It can be truly mind boggling! Thanks for a great start!

  6. Very helpful list of harmful ingredients to avoid, but why do so few address the SOY issue? Soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, Soy lecithin are other harmful ingredients in most processed foods,even in some teas, broths and chocolate not to mention soy milk and edamame. Unfermented soy is shown to be a thyroid disruptor and has estrogen effects on the body. Historically, Oriental cultures only used it fermented and as accompaniment to meals (fermentation changes it chemically so it doesn’t effect the thyroid). Our culture uses soy in huge amounts adding to our obesity problem and record numbers of people with hypothyroidism!

  7. Good article. most of us need to remember that we are the only counry that does not require complete labeling. thanks to the FDA, if the “additives” comprise less than two percent of the food, labeling is NOT required. There is a great piece on bromates, will post link later. thanks for the info.


    Great article. The only issue I have is the title – these are NOT “Foods” but chemicals! Let’s all make a stand and leave these products on the shelves!!

  9. Although very good information that makes me interested in learning more – where are the cited sources for this article? I’m told by others that some of what is being said here is still being disputed and or is not being supported by any kind of study. Just makes it so hard to figure out what really is the whole truth about the food or non foods we are eating. Another question is – how does one go about finding out if food that you are buying contains any of the additives mentioned in this article? Will they always be listed in the ingredients?

  10. Excellent information! Thank you for sharing this info. There are also reasons to eat organic, and use organic cosmetics as well!

  11. @ Dale, foods without these chemicals are available everywhere, you just need to read labels.

  12. Thanks! some of this I already new but it is always great to be reminded why you are avoiding certain foods, it helps you to remember that quality is much better than convenience even on your busiest day.

  13. Encompassing Health

    There’s a few more really important ones! Especially hydrogenated oils. Those are illegal in many European countries, and I believe Cananda as well.
    Great list!

  14. @hoosey65. I have an old book I still use but I would prefer a newer one, so good idea to start looking for one. Mine is called “The Label Reader’s Pocket Dictionary of Food Additives,” by J. Michael Lapchick. (1993) The thing about this old book, is even back then it was known these things were hazardous!

    I just looked up some of them. Artificial colors are in there, including saying “the FDA is considering banning some of them.” 20 years later, still not banned! BHA/BHT is in there, saying “causes cancer in lab animals” and “banned in some countries.”

    We have to stop buying this stuff because it’s pretty clear they won’t remove it, if it’s been known for over 20 years it’s unsafe!

  15. Great article……more reason than ever for everyone to seriously think about growing their own foods…..we need to slow down … read labels, stop eating “fast foods”, get down to the basics. And for those of you with no garden space, veggies grow great in pots.

  16. I wish there had been information on a responsible website that lists all those ingredients on the labels with the hard to pronounce names. I was once told “if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it!” I wish I still had my book that listed all these, what they were made from, why they were used, and if there were any dangers in eating it. I don’t remember the name (it was over 25 yrs. ago) and I lent it out so many times, I lost track of it. If anyone is aware of books like this, please post them.

  17. And there’s more than this. GMOs for example. Organic whole plant foods are always best (as much as possible anyway)!

  18. Very informative. I will definitely be sharing this one. Unfortunately I have a friend with thyroid problems and she used to drink Mountain Dew daily which contains brominated vegetable oil. I can’t say that is what caused her thyroid problems but it is a possibility. The more I learn the scarier our food in this country becomes.

  19. Thank you for sharing this information. I will down-load an image as soon as I find an appropriate one.

  20. I totally appreciate the time you took to gather this information and get it out there. Social Media is the way to do it. I will re-post and encourage other friends to join your group.

  21. Hey Chubsdog. Thank you for spreading the buzz. It would be great if we could see your image. Let us know if you are having difficulties.

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