12 Dangerous Foods Americans Eat That Are Banned Around the World

Think you know what's in your food? You'd be surprised.

It may seem like the government has our best interests in mind when it comes to food, but the FDA has green-lighted a number of products that are forbidden by other countries, but somehow safe for Americans.

Here are 12 dangerous foods Americans eat that are banned around the world:

1. Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs)

Genetically modified foods are a tricky subject, since we still do not know the effect of genetically altered foods on humans. As a result, many countries are strongly opposed to these questionable crops.

Banned in parts of Australia and the European Union, Japan, New Zealand, and a few counties in California

2. Brominated Vegetable Oil

Brominated vegetable oil is an emulsifier found in sports drinks that stops flavoring from separating and floating to the top of drinks. Bromine is a poisonous chemical that is considered to be corrosive and toxic and can cause thyroid issues, autoimmune disease, major organ system damage, birth defects, and more.

Banned in over 100 countries

3. Olestra

Olestra was a fabulous fat substitute that was at the height of its popularity in the 1990's. Light chips sound good, right? Not if they cause anal leakage, cramping, and actually reduce the amount of vitamins found in the human body.

Banned in most of Europe, Canada, and other countries

4. Ractopamine

Ractopamine is fed to an estimated 60-80% of pigs in the United States, making animals grow fast while also staying lean. However, this drug mimics a stress hormone and makes the animals miserable. Traces of this drug can be found in the meat, and can cause weight gain, increased heart rate, insomnia, and headaches in humans.

5. Hormonal Milk and Beef

About 20% of America's milk supply is genetically engineered with the Bovine Growth Hormone, which can cause breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer in humans.

Banned in the European Union, Japan, Australia, and China

6. Pink Slime

This ammonia-treated mash of meat trimmings and ends is known as "pink slime" and is being served as filler in school lunches across America. Not only is the slime disgusting to look at and nowhere near the quality of regular ground beef, it is connected with elevated levels of E. coli bacteria, which can cause food poisoning and sickness. Pink slime is said to reduce meat costs by 3%. 

Banned in Canada and the European Union

7. Atrazine

Atrazine is one of the most widely used pesticides in the United States, and is used primarily on corn and sugar cane (which are basically in everything). It has been known to leak through the ground and into our water supply, and can also be consumed by humans through the crops that we eat. Atrazine has been linked to fertility and reproductive problems.

Banned in the European Union

8. Carrageenan

Carrageenan is commonly used in foods like non-dairy milk as a thickener or stabilizer. Animal studies have found that exposure to carrageenan could form ulcers and cancerous lesions in the colon, while limited human studies have found carrageenan could cause inflammation.

Banned in infant formulas in the European Union

9. Arsenic

Arsenic is used in livestock production because it makes animals grow faster and turns their meat into a desirable pink color. When the arsenic reaches the innards of the animals, it becomes highly poisonous to humans and can cause cancer.

Banned in the European Union

10. Bromated Flour

Bromated flour can be found in rolls, wraps, flat breads, and even hot dog buns. It helps to reduce the time for baking, which means a lower cost to companies. However, it is quite harmful to human health as it can cause kidney and nervous system disorders, thyroid problems, and even cancer 

Banned in the European Union, Canada, Brazil, and China

11. Irradiated Meat

Meat in the United States is often exposed to low levels of radiation in order to extend its shelf life and ward off food borne illness. There are fears that irradiation could initiate dangerous chemical changes in food with unknown effects.

Banned in the European Union

12. Azodicarbonamide

Instead of waiting for the flour to naturally whiten, U.S. companies add azodicarbonamide to bleach the flour quickly to speed up the process. This chemical can be found in bread, boxed pasta, baked goods, and is also found in sneaker soles and yoga mats. Azodicarbonamid has been linked to asthma in humans.

Banned in Singapore