5 American Foods / Additives that are Banned Outside the U.S.

PepsiCo Inc., Frito-Lay, and Kraft Foods Group, Inc. are food companies that are very popular amongst Americans and share something most of us didn’t know. A great deal of American foods that we consume everyday are banned in numerous countries around the world. These foods contain either growth enhancers, harmful additives, or other genetically engineered varieties that have caused various health problems from cancer, thyroid problems, kidney and nervous system damage, and more.



1. Farm-Raised Salmon

Photo credits to Luciano Ramo – flickr

Farm-raised salmon are brought up on an unnatural diet of grains, pellets of chicken feces, harmful chemicals, and genetically modified organisms (GMO). The GMOs can come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals, or humans. Additionally, farm-raised salmon are injected with chemicals regularly to give them color and the nutrients they need. You are consuming toxins from petrochemicals, which have not been approved for human consumption. These toxins can also bio accumulate in your body and be passed down to your first-born child or given to your child through breast feeding.

Banned in: New Zealand and Australia


2. Olestra/Olean

photo credits to Kate Ter Haar – flickr

Olestra, also known as olean, is a fat substitute used in fat-free snacks or used in foods that have high fat content to lower the amount of fat you consume. This additive cannot be broken down by the human body, so after it is consumed, it stays in your body and absorbs nutrients and vitamins. Additionally, your body can get confused thinking this is real fat and store it in your body increasing your body fat. It was created by Proctor and Gamble, the manufacturer of common household, family, and person care products. Olestra is commonly used in potato chips and french fries to lower or remove fat content. Lays® and Pringles® are two big brands that use Olestra.

Banned in:  United Kingdom and Canada


3. Flame Retardant Drinks

photo credits to Wikimedia Commons


Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is added to objects to make them flame resistant, such as plastics, furniture cushions, wood, and even some children’s’ clothing. BVO is added to drinks to stabilize and prevent ingredients from separating or changing taste. Americans are consuming sports drinks and other citrus-flavored sodas that contain this substance that affects your behavioral and reproductive system, also causes skin rashes, acne, and loss of appetite, fatigue, thyroid problems, cardiac arrhythmias, along with causing birth defects and major organ damage. Gatorade® and Pepsi® are two big brands that use flame retardant toxins in their product.

Banned in:  Europe and Japan


4. Processed Foods

photo credits to Mike Mozart – flickr

There are over 3,000 different additives that we use in the United States to preserve, flavor and give color to our foods. Consuming processed foods in excess can be bad for you because it can inhibit nerve-cell damage and cause obesity, diabetes, and you can even become insulin resistant. Research has shown that these processed foods, dyes, and ingredients are all linked to cancer, birth defects and behavioral problems. Kraft®, Macaroni & Cheese, along with almost everything prepackaged, is processed.

Banned in: Norway and Austria


5. Bread with Potassium Bromate

photo credit to Mohanraj Durairaj – flickr


photo credits to Mohanraj Durairaj – flickr

Potassium bromate is a chemical used to strengthen dough, make it more elastic, reduce baking time, and to make the dough rise higher. This chemical derives from the same harmful substances as brominated vegetable oil.  Potassium bromate is found in certain breads, wraps, bagel chips, rolls, and Pillsbury also uses this in their products. Research has shown that this chemical has caused kidney and nervous system damage, thyroid problems, gastrointestinal discomfort, and cancer. This additive is required to be on food labels in the State of California only in the United States. Pillsbury’s Best® is a common brand that uses potassium bromate.

Banned in: Canada, China, and The European Union


As you can see,  almost everything in your local grocery store is filled with toxic foods and additives. The salmon, potato chips, sports drinks, instant dinners, and more all contain chemicals that are found to be harmful and cause long term damage, but they’re still consumed on a regular basis. Other countries, are on the right path to a healthy and longer life, while the U.S. is stuck in the dust.

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3 thoughts on “5 American Foods / Additives that are Banned Outside the U.S.

  1. You would think that it would be common across the world what is healthy and unhealthy and if it wasn’t suitable for everyone it wouldn’t be something that America would carry or even sell when it is not good for you.

  2. This is one of my favorite listicles! It was such an eye-opener as to what is really in the foods that we eat. I was so surprised that the sports drinks were flame retardant. I won’t be drinking Gatorade anymore! Plus, a few days after hearing your presentation, I went out to dinner and saw salmon on the menu. Of course it was farm-raised! So glad I learned from your listicle! I feel like our country is trying to kill us off.

  3. What an interesting topic, was unaware that some of these items are that bad that they are banned elsewhere! I was most supersized by Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) and Olestra. This is an eye opener, I am not more aware of what I am putting in my body! It would be nice if more unhealthy foods/ingredients were banned! Id rather be healthy then eat some of this stuff! Thank you for educating me.

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