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The reasons Europe is closed for American-made food

And why is it so difficult to find any American-made food, drinks and even candy here...

When you say American food, you think of generous portions, lots of sugary soda, flavoured alcohol and sweet treats like nothing else in the world. But when it comes to American-made food, there are quite a few red lights, blinking in the European food agency. Here's a list of American-made foods that are banned in Europe and the reasons for that.

Credit: Blake Wisz/Unsplash

Credit: Blake Wisz/Unsplash

Brominated vegetable oil

A common ingredient in soda and one of the very few things that are worse than the excessive amount of sugar. It's actually a great flame-retardant, so it could cause a slew of health issues, such as memory loss, tremors, fatigue, loss of muscle coordination, headache and even ptosis! Naturally it's been banned by Europe, Japan and India.

Credit: Brian Suman/Unsplash

Credit: Brian Suman/Unsplash

American-made milk

A hormone known as rBST is still added to American-made milk. It has been linked to many health problems in the cows themselves, though it is still not clear how severe of an effects it has on human health. So far it has been linked only with increased risk of diabetes. It is banned in Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Credit: Ronaldo de Oliveira/Unsplash

Credit: Ronaldo de Oliveira/Unsplash

Food Dye In Boxed Mac N’ Cheese

Though banned throughout the whole European continent, you can still find yellow "number 5" and "number 6" dyes added to some boxed macaroni and cheese in America. These two dyes are known to be the cause of hyperactivity in children. Make sure you read your labels and avoid brands that contain those chemicals.

Credit: Iñigo De la Maza/Unsplash

Credit: Iñigo De la Maza/Unsplash

Pink slime

Remember the pink slime scandal of 2012? Well, the "beef" that some try to market as good, healthy ground beef is actually banned in Canada and the entire European continent. The additive, which main purpose is to lower fat content in ground beef is exposed to ammonia during its processing. This can cause a number of health problems in humans, some pretty severe!

Credit: JK Sloan/Unsplash

Credit: JK Sloan/Unsplash

Chlorine-treated chicken

Just in case Tide pods and drinking bleach wasn't enough, some US manufacturers are treating their chickens with chlorine to kill various bacteria, which is a noble idea. Unfortunately this can literally burn a hole in your stomach in extreme cases. And who eats raw chicken anyways? The oven takes care of killing those harmful bacteria. Heat does nothing to chlorine though...

Credit: Towfiqu barbhuiya/Unsplash

Credit: Towfiqu barbhuiya/Unsplash

American pork

This is the big one, because it's banned in 160 countries around the word! The reason - much of it contains the growth hormone ractopamine. It allows companies to produce more meat using less feed. This drug causes many pigs to become so large that they can barely stand or walk. They suffer terribly at slaughterhouses, being trampled, dragged, and electrically prodded. Imagine then what ractopamine does to you.

Credit: Brad West/Unsplash

Credit: Brad West/Unsplash

Bread products

Wraps, rolls, bread crumbs, bagel chips and flat breads made in America contain a chemical called potassium bromate. This is an oxidiser that helps bread rise. It has been linked to kidney and thyroid cancers in humans. It is banned in Europe, Canada, and China, so you won’t find American-made bread products there.

Credit: Wesual Click/Unsplash

Credit: Wesual Click/Unsplash

Frozen meals

Azodicarbonamide is yet another chemical additive in American-made food, banned in Australia, the UK, and the whole of Europe. It is also found in frozen dinners and packaged baked goods. Another leavening agent, scientists have linked it to cancer in humans. In fact, it has been banned in the EU for over a decade.

Credit: Victoria Priessnitz/Unsplash

Credit: Victoria Priessnitz/Unsplash

American sugar cane products

American sugar cane is treated with the weedkiller Atrazine. Linked to debilitating birth defects, reproductive tumours, skin sensitisation and muscle degeneration, it is banned all around the European continent. It also easily leaks into waterways where it harms wildlife and the environment. It's a double punch, whichever way you look at it.

Credit: Chinh Le Duc/Unsplash

Credit: Chinh Le Duc/Unsplash

Fat-free products

See where the marketing got us? Many fat-free snacks in America are made fat-free by using something called Olestra. Not only has it been linked to gastrointestinal disease in children and terrible diarrhoea in adults, but it also has been shown to increase appetite to unnatural, unhealthy amounts. This is why both Europe and Canada have banned it.

Credit: Pete Alexopoulos/Unsplash

Credit: Pete Alexopoulos/Unsplash

American-made chewing gum

American-made chewing gum contains the preservative butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA). Known to cause cancer in humans, it’s also found in cereal, baked goods, packaging, cosmetics, snack foods, meats, butter, dehydrated potatoes and even beer. It’s banned in Japan, the UK, and throughout the whole of Europe.

Credit: Colin Czerwinski/Unsplash

Credit: Colin Czerwinski/Unsplash

Us-farmed salmon

Wild caught salmon is pink because of the carotenoids in their diet. American farmed salmon, however, does not follow a natural diet. Because of this, the farmers feed them synthetic astaxanthin. This can potentially cause eyesight damage and is therefore banned in Europe, Austria and New Zealand. And people used to say salmon is good for the eyesight...

Credit: Etienne Girardet/Unsplash

Credit: Etienne Girardet/Unsplash

Fruit loops

And Fruity Pebbles, too! If it wasn’t obvious, Fruit Loops are made from artificial dyes. Many of these dyes have adverse health effects on both children and adults. These include cancers and mind-boggling DNA mutations. For this reason Scandinavia banned them first, then the rest of Europe followed suit. Obviously people don't want to mutate.

Credit: Louis Hansel/Unsplash

Credit: Louis Hansel/Unsplash

Artificial blueberry

And all sweet treats that contain those. The artificial dyes used to make the artificial blueberry you see in branded "healthy" bars, toaster waffles, and most pre-packaged fake blueberry-containing foods are made from petroleum! They have been linked to brain cancer, nerve cell degeneration, and hyperactivity. It is banned in Europe and the UK. Many of these blueberry snack foods still exist there - they just contain real blueberries.

Credit: Sebastian Gómez/Unsplash

Credit: Sebastian Gómez/Unsplash

American M&M

The next time you’re visiting Europe, take a look at the ingredients list on a package of M&Ms. You’ll see things like red cabbage, lemon, and radish. This is because the food dyes used in American M&Ms are banned for use in these countries. Again, these countries are concerned about the risk of hyperactivity in children among other health risks.

Credit: Matthes Trettin/Unsplash

Credit: Matthes Trettin/Unsplash

Maraschino Cherries

Maraschino cherries in the United States are given their bright red colour via a "Red Dye 40". This is also used in grenadine and many cherry pie mixes. This dye is banned in Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and even Russia over health and safety concerns. These concerns are similar to those already mentioned above about food dyes.

Credit: James Yarema/Unsplash

Credit: James Yarema/Unsplash

American apples

Thankfully not the tech! They say an apple per day keeps the doctor away, but perhaps in the case of American apples - it’s the opposite. This is because non-organic apples in the United States are coated in a chemical-filled wax to give them that super shiny appearance. These chemicals have been linked to certain cancers and are therefore banned in the European Union.

Credit: James Yarema/Unsplash

Credit: James Yarema/Unsplash

Chocolate milk

Not all chocolate milks are created equal. Many American brands contain a chemical called carrageenan. This is an emulsifying agent used to stabilise and thicken many processed foods. Research has linked it to heart disease, causing inflammation, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. It is banned for use in baby formulas, but can be found in ice cream, salad dressings, soy milk and some meat products. Naturally Europe has banned it completely.

Credit: Dennis Klein/Unsplash

Credit: Dennis Klein/Unsplash

American-made ketchup

Ketchup is America’s favourite condiment, but let’s be honest - we all know that it is not good for us. The sugar content in the American ketchup alone will make your head spin! In 2011, Europe banned American-made ketchup out of thin air, or so we thought. The European Union cited two reasons - health concerns and the protection of individual member states own cuisine. Fair enough. Our Heinz contains more actual tomatoes and next to no sugar anyways.

Credit: Jeff Siepman/Unsplash

Credit: Jeff Siepman/Unsplash

US-made potato chips

Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is the culprit here. Cancer, asthma and behaviour issues in children has been linked to its use. The chemical, added to your chips to keep them fresh and crisp is banned in the UK, Japan, and all European countries. No American chips to be found there. Maybe it's for good.

Credit: Choi sungwoo/Unsplash

Credit: Choi sungwoo/Unsplash

American cheese

Many US milk products, including cheese, contain the hormone Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). This hormone is a synthetic version of the natural one used to increase milk production. In cows, it can cause inflamed udders and infertility. Not only is it inhumane, but in humans, it can cause various types of cancer. It is banned in the whole Europe, as well as additional 30 countries around the world.

Credit: Sarah Gualtieri/Unsplash

Credit: Sarah Gualtieri/Unsplash

Powdered coffee creamers

Yeah, your favourite "Coffee Mate" does not share the same recipe across the pond. The American-made product simply contains trans fats from cottonseed oils and hydrogenated soybean that can lead to heart disease. This ban is relatively new, because up until recently, the recipe was the same. Now though the whole of Europe uses very different sort of ingredients for this product.

Credit: Kobby Mendez/Unsplash

Credit: Kobby Mendez/Unsplash

High-fructose corn syrup

If you've been sleeping under a rock and you haven't seen my sugar article - read it first and then just skip the syrup. HFCS is not fully banned in the EU and the UK, but it is restricted so much that hardly anybody is using it. This is due to its connection with obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. Though still common in America, especially in fizzy-sweet soda drinks, it’s best to avoid it.

Credit: Anton/Unsplash

Credit: Anton/Unsplash

Peanut butter

Most American, commercially available peanut butter is filled with sugar, salt . . and palm oil. Not only is it bad for human health, but its cultivation is one of the top causes of deforestation in the Amazon. Nearly every country in Europe has banned American-made peanut butter for this reason. That explains why peanut butter became expensive overnight...

Credit: Patrick Fore/Unsplash

Credit: Patrick Fore/Unsplash

Artificial Sweeteners

Many sweets made for people with diabetes or simply for people who want baked goods without sugar are way too good to be true. They contain artificial sweeteners that the EU officially banned in 2017-2018. There are several different side effects of these chemical products, which comes as no surprise. They are artificial, after all.

Credit: Muhammad Murtaza Ghani/Unsplash

Credit: Muhammad Murtaza Ghani/Unsplash

Stevia

Though highly popular in North America and parts of Asia, the EU and UK still have a firm ban on the low-calorie sweetener stevia. Their concern is over the lack of evidence that it is safe to consume. There is some evidence to suggest that it could contribute to male infertility and some cancers. Suddenly sugar doesn't seems so bad...

Credit: The BlackRabbit/Unsplash

Credit: The BlackRabbit/Unsplash

Trans fats

Scientists have known for a while that trans fats can increase your risk of heart disease. They do this by lowering your good cholesterol while simultaneously raising your bad cholesterol. Much of the EU, Canada, and Brazil have banned or at least put very strict regulations on the substance. This doesn't mean European junk food is healthier - it will still hurt you, but it will take its time...

Credit: Fábio Alves/Unsplash

Credit: Fábio Alves/Unsplash

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Comments (21)

  • Wow that is full on! Never really thought about all those additives and pesticides etc….we have pretty struck laws here…..however meat glue is one that I feel should be added to the list!

      11 days ago
  • Seriously, this is the most well done list that needed to be exposed. It's great you wrapped everything up into one nice piece. This totally might explain why some things have made me sick over the years -- chicken, milk, bread products. I don't think most people who have reactions are necessarily allergic to dairy or gluten - they likely get sick from the chemicals used in these products. I was in facebook groups for dairy/gluten-free people, and there were big discussions with people who had visited Europe and ate everything with no problem, like all the fresh pastas and breads in Italy. That was when I began to wonder about these things.

      10 days ago
    • That is possible, with the exception of gluten. I'm working on my gluten article at the moment, because people think gluten is one universally evil thing . . and it really isn't just one, or universally evil. Which may explain why gluten is...

      Read more
        10 days ago
    • I agree with that. However that American dream is actually extremely expensive, and personally unattainable for me and many other millennials. But it's true our food is "cheap" and if it were good (and if more products in general were made...

      Read more
        10 days ago
  • Nice work cuz, I agree with you, like carrageenan causing many health related problems, even forms of Cancer but is still used by companies in the USA, though I believe it is banned in most European countries.

    Carrageenan -

    Some scientists have presented evidence that carrageenan is highly inflammatory and toxic to the digestive tract, and claim that it may be reponsible for colitis, IBS, rheumatoid arthritis, and even colon cancer.

      11 days ago
  • This proves my point for hunting your meat is all natural the way it should be because obviously America sucks at producing any food products.

      11 days ago
  • Then why can I buy Stevia in Germany?

      11 days ago
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