by Jessica Sanders

It’s no secret that industrial farming is on the rise. However, not as many people know about the amount of antibiotics and toxins that go into feeding the animals and keeping the processed foods looking appetizing. In fact, 70% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are given to farm animals for non-therapeutic purposes. Not to mention the hundreds of pesticides and additives sprayed on produce and put into processed foods that lead to dozens of known health problems.

Mt Dew banned

While the rest of the world has discovered this is not a smart way to eat, the U.S. is far behind, allowing most of the foods and chemicals banned around the world to be made and used here for your consumption. Foreign governments have banned certain chemicals and dyes because they have been proven to cause various cancers and even potentially mutate healthy DNA. Watch out for these foods that other countries have determined are too dangerous to allow their citizens to consume, but are freely available in our U.S. stores.

Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)

This doesn’t sound like something you’d find in your sports drink, but unfortunately, if you down those neon colored beverages, you’ve ingested it. In sports and citrus drinks like Mt. Dew, Squirt or Fresca, it’s used to stop the flavoring from separating from the rest of the liquid and floating to the top.

The main ingredient, bromine, has been linked to birth defects, organ system damage and schizophrenia. BVO has also been found to cause a variety of thyroid issues including autoimmune disease. It’s banned across the European Union, in Japan and a number of other countries.

Farm-Raised Salmon

how to choose salmonYou think you’re making a healthy choice with salmon, getting your fill of protein while enjoying a low-fat dinner. What you don’t know is that people in New Zealand and Australia don’t even have this option because of the chemicals the fish eat before it reaches your mouth.

Farm-raised salmon are fed grains, antibiotics and a variety of other drugs that are not only unnatural for the fish, but for you as well. What’s more, their skin turns a grayish color from the diet so they’re fed a petrochemical concoction to become natural-looking again, according to

When choosing salmon, wild salmon have eyes that are bright red, courtesy of its natural astaxanthin content. If the fish is pale pink with wide fat marks, the salmon is farmed and to be avoided.

Olestra (Olean)

fat free pringles and OlestraThis is a fat substitute found mainly in potato chips, as a way of making an unhealthy snack healthier. But the side-effect of olestra is exactly why it’s banned in the U.K., Canada and a variety of other countries: anal leakage. That can’t be healthy! While anal leakage is a terrible side effect, it’s what’s happening in the body that’s more concerning. This chemical significantly decreases important micronutrients like fat-soluble vitamins and cartenoids.

Low-fat potato chips like Ruffles Lite, Lays Wow and Pringles fat-free chips all contain Olestra. A frequent chip-eater would experience a substantial decline in carotenoids and other phytochemicals (along with an increased risk of macular degeneration and possibly cancer and heart disease) and might experience gastrointestinal problems.


You may already be avoiding this one, even though it’s still allowed in the U.S. But do you know why? This man-made version of bovine somatotropin, what is naturally produced in cows, has been found to change your normal cell tissues into cancerous ones. This can lead to a breast, prostate and colorectal cancer.

Not to mention, the cows suffer too; at least 16 different adverse and painful health conditions have been observed in animals injected with rBGH, according to It’s banned in more than 30 countries, including the U.K., Israel, Canada and New Zealand, but is still legal in the U.S.

The only way to avoid rBGH is to look for products labeled as “rBGH-free” or “No rBGH.”

Organic Arsenic

The FDA claims organic arsenic is less toxic than its inorganic sibling, but studies have found that this chemical—used to make animals grow faster and yield pinker meat—can become inorganic. The inorganic form of arsenic has been found in chicken on grocery store shelves all over the U.S. It’s banned in the European Union because arsenic is a known carcinogen.

Would you eat chicken that ate arsenic and banned antibiotics? If it were me, I’d be looking at antibiotic-free or organic grass-fed chicken.

Whether you’re consuming these products or care about the animals being raised on antibiotic-laced feed, the U.S. is letting you down. The only way to avoid these foods and chemicals is to be a smart shopper. Purchase local meat and produce whenever possible, always choose organic if local isn’t an option and always avoid processed foods.

Americans have let the government decide what can or can’t be added to food products on our supermarket shelves. But in our global era, who’s to say the American FDA should have the last word on what’s OK for us to eat?


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