Foods Banned in Europe but Readily Available in America:
Examining Regulatory Differences
Many moons ago, some of the very first interventions we tried were dietary. Feingold diet, gluten-free, dairy-free, corn free, and on and on and on until I monitored every single thing I fed my kids for dyes, chemicals, and toxicities. It was exhausting. They began to be more and more annoyed with me – even though even they can tell – when they eat certain foods their mood or behavior deteriorates.
Anyway, I was back at my doctor this morning giving 8 vials of blood for my yearly checkup and we started chatting about how little has changed in the 19 years I have been doing this. Food is still a toxic blast of dyes, chemicals, preservatives, and other nasty products except now, I have zero control over what they eat anymore. Just for fun, I decided to go look and see what, if anything, had changed on this front…. and while I find people less critical of my “weird” ideas, here is what I found.
The regulation of food products is a crucial aspect of ensuring public health and safety. Different countries have their own set of standards and regulations governing the production, sale, and consumption of food items. In the case of Europe and the United States, there are notable differences in the approaches taken toward certain food additives and ingredients.
This article delves into the topic of foods banned in Europe but available in America, exploring the regulatory disparities that contribute to this divergence.
- Artificial Food Colors
Artificial food colors have long been a contentious topic, with some studies suggesting a potential link between their consumption and adverse health effects, particularly in children. In Europe, several artificial food colors, including Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40, and Blue 1, require a warning label or are completely banned due to safety concerns. In contrast, these same color additives are widely used in various food products sold in the United States. Red #40 and Yellow #5 are particularly hard for my two.
- Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, have been a subject of intense debate worldwide. European countries have implemented stringent regulations regarding the cultivation and importation of GMO crops. Many European countries have banned or restricted the use of GMOs due to concerns related to environmental impact, potential health risks, and consumer choice. In the United States, however, GMO crops are prevalent, and their products are commonly found in processed foods on supermarket shelves.
- Artificial Sweeteners
Europe has taken a cautious approach towards the use of certain artificial sweeteners. For instance, aspartame, commonly found in diet sodas, has faced scrutiny due to concerns about its potential links to various health issues. While the European Food Safety Authority has declared aspartame safe for consumption within the recommended limits, certain European countries have banned or restricted its use in specific products. In contrast, aspartame and other artificial sweeteners, such as sucralose and saccharin, continue to be widely used in a range of products in the United States. While there are dozens of articles claiming health hits with these sweeteners, the general conclusion is, it’s not that bad, BUT FINALLY, recent reports are documenting how truly toxic this product is. These products have no reason to be in our food. Splenda damages DNA
- Antibiotics in Animal Feed
The use of antibiotics in animal feed has raised concerns over the development of antibiotic resistance and its potential impact on human health. The European Union has implemented strict regulations to limit the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture, banning the use of growth-promoting antibiotics and restricting the therapeutic use of antibiotics to treat sick animals. In the United States, while some measures have been taken to reduce antibiotic use, it remains more prevalent in animal feed and agriculture practices.
- Hormone-treated Beef and Dairy Products
Europe has banned the importation and sale of hormone-treated beef and dairy products due to concerns about the potential risks posed to human health. In the United States, however, hormone use in cattle is permitted, and hormone-treated beef is commonly sold. This regulatory difference has led to trade disputes between the two regions, as Europe upholds its ban on hormone-treated beef imports from the United States.
Conclusions to be had from the above:
The differing regulations surrounding food additives and ingredients between Europe and the United States have led to a situation where certain food products banned in Europe continue to be available for sale in America. These regulatory disparities are primarily driven by varying approaches to risk assessment, consumer protection, and public health priorities. No one who can actually do anything about this seems to be sounding the alarm. Our children are overweight, sad, anxious, angry, unhealthy, and trending toward record levels of diabetes. It is important for consumers to be aware of these differences and make informed choices about the food they consume. As the global food trade continues to evolve, there is an ongoing need for harmonization and a collaborative effort to ensure the safety and quality of food products across borders and dammit we deserve better than this.