Found in: Practically everything we eat: cake mixes, sports drinks, cheese, candy, and even MACARONI AND CHEESE.
Why it’s dangerous: Artificial dyes are made from chemicals derived from petroleum, which is also used to make gasoline, diesel fuel, asphalt, and tar! Artificial dyes have been linked to brain cancer, nerve-cell deterioration, and hyperactivity in children, just to name a few.
Where it’s banned: Norway, Finland, Austria, France, and the U.K.
2. Olestra (or Olean): Lowers calorie counts while causing vitamin depletion and anal leakage.
Found in: Sports drinks and citrus-flavored sodas.
Why it’s dangerous: Bromine is a chemical used to stop carpets from catching on fire, so you can see why drinking it may not be the best idea. BVO is linked to major organ system damage, birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia, and hearing loss.
Where it’s banned: In over 100 countries.
4. Potassium bromate (or bromated flour): Great for impatient bakers, bad for your kidneys and nervous system.
Found in: Wraps, rolls, bread crumbs, bagel chips, flat breads.
Why it’s dangerous: Derived from the same harmful chemical as brominated vegetable oil, brominated flour is used to decrease baking time and reduce costs. Only problem is, it’s linked to kidney damage, cancer, and nervous system damage.
Where it’s banned: Europe, Canada, and China.
5. Azodicarbonamide: Bleaches flour, plastic, and induces asthma as an added bonus.
Found in: Breads, frozen dinners, boxed pasta mixes, and packaged baked goods.
Why it’s dangerous: Used to bleach both flour and foamed plastic (yoga mats and the soles of sneakers), azodicarbonamide has been known to induce asthma.
Where it’s banned: Australia, the U.K., and most European countries.
6. BHA & BHT: Waxy preservatives linked to cancer and tumors.
Why it’s dangerous: Used in some chicken feed to make meat appear pinker and fresher, arsenic is poison, which will kill you if you ingest enough.
Where it’s banned: The EU.
CORRECTION: Some studies linked in the original version of this article were concerning unrelated issues. They have been replaced with information directly from the book Rich Food, Poor Food (6/22/12).
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