10 Popular Foods Banned Around The World

Did you know there are a number of foods and substances that are banned around the world. Do you know what they are and why? Many of them are still on the store shelves. Find out the culprits now.

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It seems like every day we are hearing about the preservatives, hormones, and other dangerous ingredients being added to our foods. It should come as no surprise then that there are 10 foods banned around the world.

What will surprise is that many of these offenders are still on the shelves of supermarkets and grocers. The good news is, today you will learn what they are and exactly what you need to avoid.

10 Foods Banned Around The World

via Mercola

This infographic from Mercola shows you the top 10 banned foods in the world, where they’re banned, and why.

We’ve also broken the information into smaller sections so that you can gain a clear understanding. You will also discover some healthy alternatives that you can substitute. We also highly recommend that you watch the video that we have included at the end of our post.

1Farmed Raised Salmon vs Wild Caught Salmon

“Raised on a wholly unnatural diet of grains (including genetically engineered varieties) and are given a concoction of toxic antibiotics, vitamins, drugs and chemicals not safe for humans.”

Don’t Eat: Farm-Raised Salmon. Farmed salmon is currently banned in Australia, New Zealand, and Russia for good reason.

The fish that are raised in this way are pumped full of synthetic dyes, PCBs, and contain very high levels of mercury.

What To Eat: They’re also more likely to get infected with viruses that are lethal to fish such as ISA (Salmon Anemia Virus), compared to wild salmon.

If you’re in the mood for a great salmon steak, choose the wild salmon varieties. Companies in the US are required by law to state whether the fish is wild or farm-raised so pay attention to the labeling.

2 Genetically Engineered Papaya

“Most Hawaiian Papaya is now genetically engineered to be resistant to ringspot virus, a threat that greatly devastated US crops in the 1990’s”

Don’t Eat: We now know that animals who ingest foods modified in this way cause all sorts of problems in livestock including intestinal damage, tumors, birth defects, and more.

For these reasons and many more, the European Union has banned these crops.

What To Eat: The best way to know you’re getting good papaya is to buy organic. If that’s not possible, however, look for Kapoho variety, which is native to the island of Hawaii and is not being modified right now.

You can also feel safe buying The Mexican Red, Maradol, Royal Star Papayas, Caribbean Red, Singapore Pink, and Higgins varieties.

3 Ractopamine-Tainted Meat

“Also known as Paylean and Optaflexs, it is a beta-agonist drug for livestock (originally used to treat asthma) found to reduce the overall fat content of the meat”

Don’t Eat: Meats containing ractopamine, Paylean, or Optaflexx. Originally used to treat asthma, this drug is now being used widely as a fat-reducer in the livestock being raised for meat.

This ensures that the cuts of meat will be less fatty and look better in grocery store freezers. Currently, this kind of meat enhancer is banned from use in Russia, Mainland China, and Taiwan.

What To Eat: Dr. Mercola recommends sticking to organic, grass-fed, or pastured meats.

4 BVO Drinks

“Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) originally patented by chemical companies as a flame retardant, is also found in citrus-flavored sodas and sports drinks in the US”

Don’t Drink: Brominated Vegetable Oils (BVOs), which were originally used as a flame retardant, have been found in many sodas and sports drinks coming from the USA.

However, it has been shown to build up in human tissue as well as breast milk. Studies on animals have also linked it to reproductive and behavioral issues. BVOs are banned in many countries in Europe and in Japan.

What To Drink: Obviously the smart choice would be to avoid these sugary drinks since that much sugar in a day has been shown to wreak havoc on your health itself.

If you’re in the mood for a soda, you can try some natural substitutes that are currently sold in health food stores such as Whole Foods. You could also use carbonated water and a sweetener of your choice to make your own blend of soda.

5 Artificial Colors & Dyes

“More than 3,000 food additives, preservatives, flavorings, colors, and other synthetic ingredients are added to US foods including infant foods and foods targeted to young children”

Don’t Eat: Did you know that there are more than 3,000 food additives added to US foods? That includes food for babies, as well as food marketed towards children. These additives include harmful dyes and colorings that are currently banned in Norway and Austria.

The British government also advised food companies to stop using them, and the EU currently places warnings on foods containing them.

Why? Although dyes may seem harmless, they have been shown to be directly linked to cancer, birth defects, and hypersensitivity in children.

What To Eat: Instead of processed foods, try to stick to either natural, organic alternatives or just plain natural foods. Many processed foods currently contain these chemicals and so they’re hard to avoid when buying any sort of processed food.

6 Arsenic-Fed Chicken

“Arsenic-based drugs are approved for use in animal feed in the US because they make animals grow quicker and make the meat appear pinker and fresher”

Don’t Eat: Arsenic-Laced Chicken. Did you know that chickens on many farms in the US are fed arsenic-laced feed? This speeds up the growth of the chickens, and also makes their meat have a pinker appearance, seeming fresher.

Currently banned in the EU, the original product is no longer available for farmers to buy, however, there are still many similar alternatives.

Dangers of consistent arsenic exposure can result in anemia, headaches, low blood pressure, lower IQ, diabetes, and increased risk of miscarriages, as well as many other conditions.

What To Eat: Your best bet again is to look for grass-fed, organic chicken that comes from a free-range farm.

7 Potassium Bromate Bread

“Brominated flour is enriched with potassium bromate. Commercial baking companies claim it makes the dough more elastic and better able to stand up to bread hooks (mixer attachments) ”

Don’t Eat: Bread containing enriched brominated flour, containing potassium bromate. Potassium bromate has been linked to kidney and nervous system damage, thyroid disease and cancers as well as other forms of cancer.

It is found in many commercially baked bread in the US because it is thought to make the dough more elastic and strong.

It is currently banned in Canada, China, and the EU.

What To Eat: If you can bake your own bread, that’s the best way to go! Otherwise, stick to organic varieties with no brominated flour or potassium bromate in it.

8 Olean and Olestra

“Olestra, aka Olean, created by Proctor and Gamble is a calorie and cholesterol-free fat substitute used in fat-free snacks. It was approved by the FDA in 1996. Time magazine named Olestra as one of the worst 50 inventions ever.”

Don’t Eat: Foods made in fat-free versions. Olean was created as a calorie-free, fat-free substitute to be used in fat-free snacks when they first became a popular idea.

Approved by the FDA in 1996, countries including the UK and Canada have since banned the substitutes.

They have been shown to lead to weight gain, gastrointestinal problems, and have even been shown to deplete vitamin stores in the body.

What To Eat: Try to avoid foods labeled as a fat-free version of the original. Some foods are naturally fat-free and might advertise this fact, and those are okay. But foods that have been greatly reduced in fat most likely contain one of these additives.


“BHA (butylated hydroxytoluene) are toxic preservatives. BHA is known to cause cancer in rats, and may be a cancer-causing agent in humans as well.”

Don’t Eat: Foods with BHA and BHT preservatives. Found in everything from your morning cereal to your evening beer, BHA has been shown to directly cause cancer in rats, and both BHA and BHT have been shown to cause allergic reactions in humans.

BHT has also been known to cause toxic buildup in organs. Both are banned in the EU and Japan.

What To Eat: Try to avoid foods labeled with BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene). They’re often found in margarine, meats, breakfast cereals, nut mixes, gum, dehydrated potatoes, and beer.

10 rBGH-containing Milk & Dairy

“rBGH is a synthetic version of natural bovine somatotropin (BST), a hormone produced in cows pituitary glands, to increase milk production. Approximately 1 in 6 US Dairy Cows are repeatedly injected with growth hormones”

Don’t Eat: rGBH milk or dairy products. Cows given rBGH, a synthetic version of the hormone that makes cows produce milk, is currently the reason US milk is never sold outside the US.

Made from genetically engineered E.coli bacteria, approximately 1 in 6 dairy cows are injected with it repeatedly in the US. It is now a banned substance in many countries including Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Canada, as well as the entire EU.

In humans, it is directly linked to colorectal, prostate, and breast cancer.

What To Eat: If you can avoid dairy completely try to do so. If you just can’t stand the thought of life without cheese, however (and we don’t blame you!) try to go for varieties made from organic milk on organic farms. You can also feel safer going with goat’s milk cheeses and products.

In order to be a smart consumer try to buy organic, and if you can’t then try to buy varieties that don’t contain any of the above ingredients.

via the give project

GMO Code Infographic

Here is an excellent infographic that shows you the codes used on foods that will indicate whether it is organic, conventional or GMO.

The 5 digit code starting with 9 is for organic whereas if it starts with a 5 it is GMO.

Banned Foods Around The World Video

As mentioned earlier in our post, we highly recommend that you view the accompanying video explanation from Mercola. This has some excellent information that will come in very handy as you navigate the food and produce aisles. Click Play above to watch now ^

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