If you’ve ever wondered why you won’t find American ice cream products in other countries, that’s because of the presence of carrageenan. Carrageenan is an emulsifier, thickener, or stabilizer that is mostly used in dairy products to keep them stable. Companies use it in ice cream, salad dressings, soy milk, chocolate milk, and some meat products. It is a naturally occurring substance extracted from red seaweed.
The reason that it’s banned is that studies show a link to colon cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). For this reason, the European Union completely banned this ingredient. They have even banned carrageenan use in baby formulas. However, the World Health Organization has stated that it is safe for carrageenan to be used in infant formulas as long as it is not more than 1000 mg/L.
Ractopamine-Filled Meat Is A Big No-No Anywhere Else
If you’ve never heard of ractopamine before, you’ll never forget the name after this. Ractopamine is a drug used in livestock that increases the growth of lean muscles. Essentially, people use it to produce more meat from each livestock to make more money per head. Forty to sixty percent of the pigs in America contain ractopamine in order to develop bigger pigs.
As many as 160 countries, including Russia, China, and the European Union, have banned the use of ractopamine in their meat production. The FDA has stated that meat from animals that eat ractopamine is entirely safe. How? Because it has been completely metabolized and is no longer present in the meat by the time they harvest the animals. However, the ban is likely to do more with the inhumane treatment of animals. That is, rather than whether the meat is safe for consumption.
The FDA Approves Olestra, But Most Countries Still Ban It
During the 90s, Olestra came to the market as an oil that tastes no different from that used in your favorite snack foods but promised to help you lose weight in the process. People often used it in the “diet” versions of Pringles, Doritos, and Ruffles. However, ingestion of Olestra led to diarrhea, cramping, and loose bowel movements, making it very inconvenient for people to go about their normal daily routine.
And this was after the FDA had approved Olestra. Because of these unfortunate side effects, Canada and the European Union banned this ingredient. Olestra and Olean are still being used to this day in other foods labeled as “diet.” Thus, it would be best to read the ingredient lists and avoid them if you’re not interested in spending your entire day on the toilet.
Everyone’s Favorite Coffee Additive Isn’t In Other Countries
Coffee Mate is most people’s first choice when adding creamer to their coffee. But it is filled with trans fats like cottonseed and partially hydrogenated soybean oils, which doctors link to heart disease. The FDA officially banned them in the United States in 2018, but that hasn’t stopped them from being out in the market. For this reason, Hungary, Austria, Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, and Denmark also banned this coffee product.
Most people would prefer to use actual creamer, but this option isn’t open to those who want creamer but are lactose intolerant. They may want to skip the Coffee Mate until a healthier option is available. Or, you can settle for a variety of lactose-free milk that still protects their health without the horrible side effects of lactose.
You’ve probably seen the bright green drink on several shelves in your grocery store, but you’re never going to find them in Japan and Europe. Not the way the United States makes it, anyway. Both Mountain Dew and Fresca contain an ingredient called BVO or brominated vegetable oil. This comes from a chemical called bromine, which is in brominated flame retardants. When taken into the body, the levels can build up, resulting in memory loss, as well as skin and nerve problems.
The purpose of the brominated vegetable oil is to keep the citrus flavor from separating from the rest of the beverage. Why? So that it can remain homogenous. Still, despite this, it’s not illegal in the United States to be used as an ingredient. However, a petition started by a teenager in Mississippi to drop the component has led PepsiCo to agree to stop putting it in their Gatorade drinks.
You Won’t Find Little Debbie Swiss Rolls In Other Countries
Little Debbie Swiss Rolls contain Yellow 5 and Red 40, both food colorings that can adversely affect children. For this reason, Norway and Austria banned them. Other European Union countries have warnings placed on the box, so parents know the dangers of buying this product. But you don’t find those warnings in America.
Yellow 5 and Red 40 both have FDA approval. However, some studies show that there is an association between these dyes and hyperactivity in children. Yellow 5 links with behavioral changes, such as depression, irritability, difficulty sleeping, and restlessness. Other studies reveal that this isn’t the same reaction in all children. Perhaps genetics also play a part in whether they’re affected or not.