Food Babe Investigates: How Food Companies Exploit Americans with Ingredients Banned in Other Countries

This is a guest post from Vani Hari (a.k.a. The Food Babe) and New York Times Best Selling author. You can read more about her take on the food industry in her second book, Feeding You Lies!

Thoughts of outrage, unfairness, disbelief, and ultimately grief consumed me while I was doing this investigation. A list of ingredients that are banned across the globe but still allowed for use here in the American food supply recently made news.

While I have written about some of those ingredients before, this list inspired me to look a little deeper and find out how pervasive this issue is for us. Could these banned ingredients be contributing to the higher mortality and disease rates here in the U.S.?

The health of Americans is downright grim according to a report just released by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council. It declares “Americans are sicker and die younger than other people in wealthy nations.” The United States spends 2.5 times more on health care than any other nation, however, when compared with 16 other nations we come in dead last in terms of health and life expectancy for men and near the bottom for women.

Here is the breakdown for you:

  • More than two thirds of United States citizens are overweight – 33% being obese.
  • 32% of children are either obese or overweight.
  • 43% of Americans are projected to be obese in 10 years.
  • After smoking, obesity is America’s biggest cause of premature death and is linked to 70% of heart disease and 80% of diabetes cases.
  • And 41% of Americans are projected to get cancer in their lifetime!

These reports and statistics scream the word HELP!

Recently, I spent some time down in Mississippi volunteering in the most obese county in the nation. I found that while social and economic factors do play a part in this epidemic, the main culprit was the lack of nutrition education.

The victims of obesity are likely the same victims of systematic brainwashing from Big Food marketers, relying on diet soda or low fat products or looking only at calories on product labels. Basically, they are doing what the food industry has been teaching them about losing weight versus finding out the truth about real food.

And that’s the problem – the food industry is the one leading our conversation in this country about food and nutrition, educating the mass public about what to eat and what not to eat. Coca-Cola recently even went as far as creating a special campaign to combat obesity – yes you read that right – a sugar filled soda company trying to stop obesity. (You can read my reaction to that here).

Unfortunately, the doctors in this country are not exactly leading the discussion either, since nutrition is not currently a focus in medical school. And the government has their hands tied by big food industry and chemical company lobbyists that basically control what the FDA approves, deems safe for human consumption, and our overall food policy.

So who is going to finally tell us the truth about our food?

The food industry does not want us to pay attention to the ingredients nor do they care about the negative effects from eating them. They certainly don’t care about the astronomical medical bills that are a direct result of us eating the inferior food they are creating.

The HELP we need starts here. We as a collective nation must stop this trajectory of sickness and rising health care costs, by understanding the ingredients we are putting into our bodies. We must challenge the U.S. food industry to discontinue the use of banned ingredients that are not allowed elsewhere in the world. We deserve to have the same quality food without potential toxins.

Food is medicine, and plain and simple, if our food is sick (filled with GMO’s, chemicals, additives, artificial ingredients, and/or carcinogens), collectively we as a country are going to continue to be sick.

Using banned ingredients that other countries have determined unsafe for human consumption has become a pandemic in this country. To prove this point, I found the best and easiest place to look for evidence was just across “the pond” in the United Kingdom, where they enjoy some of the same types of products we do – but with totally different ingredient lists.

It is appalling to witness the examples I am about to share with you. The U.S. food corporations are unnecessarily feeding us chemicals – while leaving out almost all questionable ingredients in our friends’ products overseas. The point is the food industry has already formulated safer, better products, but they are voluntarily only selling inferior versions of these products here in America. The evidence of this runs the gamut from fast food places to boxed cake mix to cereal to candy and even oatmeal – you can’t escape it.

US brands that are reformulated without additives in other countries

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Some of the key American brands that are participating in this deception are McDonald’s, Pringles (owned by Kellogg’s), Pizza Hut and Quaker (owned by Pepsi), Betty Crocker (owned by General Mills), Starburst (owned by M&M/Mars), and Ritz Crackers (owned by Kraft). In the examples below, red text indicates potentially harmful ingredients and/or ingredients likely to contain GMOs.

Betty Crocker Red Velvet Cake Mix Ingredients
Betty Crocker cream cheese icing ingredients

Having a pre-made box of flour, baking soda and sugar all ready to go saves time for some people when it comes to making a cake, but does saving time have to come at the expense of chemically derived and potentially toxic ingredients?

The United States version of Betty Crocker Red Velvet cake not only has artificial colors linked to hyperactivity in children, food cravings, and obesity, but it also has partially hydrogenated oils (a.k.a. trans fat). Trans fat has been shown to be deadly even in small amounts. “Previous trials have linked even a 40-calorie-per-day increase in trans fat intake to a 23% higher risk of heart disease.” This could easily be the amount of trans fat in one serving of Betty Crocker icing alone.

Sodium benzoate is an ingredient that Coca-Cola actually removed in their Diet Coke product overseas, but you’ll still find it in their product Sprite, cake mixes and loads of other products across the USA. The Mayo Clinic reported that this preservative increases hyperactivity in children. Also, when sodium benzoate combines with ascorbic acid (vitamin C), it can form benzene, a carcinogen that damages DNA in cells and accelerates aging.

McDonald's french fries ingredients

Fast Food giants like McDonald’s and Pizza Hut are just as guilty as General Mills’ Betty Crocker.

Look closely at the ingredients in McDonald’s french fries above. Do you see how the french fries in the U.K. version are basically just potatoes, vegetable oil, a little sugar and salt? How can McDonald’s make french fries with such an uncomplicated list of ingredients all over Europe, but not over here?

Why do McDonald’s french fries in the U.S. have to have TBHQ, trans fat and “anti-foaming” agents? Correct me if I’m wrong, but the last time I checked – I didn’t think Americans liked foam with their fries either!

The anti-foaming agent – dimethylpolysiloxane – is a type of silicone used in caulks and sealants and as a filler for breast implants. It’s also the key ingredient in silly putty.

Thanks FDA for allowing companies to put silly putty in our french fries. Seriously – this is out of control.

McDonald's strawberry sauce ingredients

McDonalds Strawberry Sauce in the United States includes high fructose corn syrup, red #40 and sodium benzoate, while the citizens of the U.K. get off scot-free. Instead, they get 37% real strawberries in their product and no additional flavoring or harmful preservatives.

Pizza Hut garlic cheese bread ingredients

Pizza Hut does a huge disservice to us (and their workers) by using Azodicarbonamide in their garlic cheese bread. This ingredient is banned as a food additive in the U.K., Europe, and Australia, and if you get caught using it in Singapore you can get up to 15 years in prison and be fined $450,000

The U.K. has recognized this ingredient as a potential cause of asthma if inhaled, and advises against its use in people who have sensitivity to food dye allergies and other common allergies in food, because azodicarbonamide can exacerbate the symptoms.

However, Pizza Hut and many other fast food chains like Subway and Starbucks use this ingredient in their U.S. bread products.

Natural and artificial flavors and hidden MSG (in the form of autolyzed yeast extract, in this case) are commonly found throughout products in America but not elsewhere. Junk food companies intentionally add this combination of ingredients to create sensory overload by exciting your brain cells to remember the food you are eating and make less nutritious ingredients taste better to you.

I’m not saying that the food industry has completely eliminated these same tricks abroad – but when you look at the U.K. version of garlic cheese bread, the ingredients look pretty basic. Many of the ingredients you could use at home to make garlic bread. I’ve never found TBHQ in the baking aisle at the grocery store, have you?

TBHQ, by the way, is a preservative derived from petroleum and used in perfumes, resins, varnishes and oil field chemicals. Laboratory studies have linked TBHQ to stomach tumors. This preservative is also used by Chick-Fil-A  in their famous chicken sandwiches.

Pringles sour cream and onion chip ingredients

Reviewing the ingredients in Pringles really got me worked up….ever wonder why you can’t stop eating chips after having just one? MSG is the culprit – and in the U.S. version of Pringles, it’s added twice! Once in its known name and again in a hidden source, called “yeast extract.”

This begs the question “Why are Americans so addicted to processed food?!” The food industry has designed it that way on purpose to line their pockets with profits, at the expense of our health.

Ritz Crackers ingredients

The U.K. Ritz Crackers ingredient list resembles items that you’d find in every household around the country – but the United States version goes the extra mile to include trans fat, HFCS and natural flavor. Natural flavor can be also be a hidden form of MSG, which, again, is an additive that will likely make you eat more than you would otherwise.

Quaker Oats strawberry flavor ingedients

In the United States, Quaker Oats has several different flavors of oatmeal that contain different fruit flavored, artificially dyed pieces of dehydrated apple but that don’t actually contain any of the fruit shown on the package. But in the U.K. – they don’t even attempt to sell that garbage. They instead have a product called “Oats so Simple” that actually has REAL strawberries in it – light years ahead of our version that includes trans fat, artificial food coloring, and artificial flavors.

Rice Krispies ingredients

There’s only one difference in Rice Krispies between the U.S. and U.K. version – but it’s a big difference.  It’s one ingredient that is banned virtually in every other country, except here in the United States. That ingredient is called BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) or BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and is a very common preservative used rampantly throughout packaged food in the U.S.

Test studies published by the IPCS (International Program for Chemical Safety) “show tissue inflammation, enlargement, and/or growths in 100%, and cancer in 35% of [animal] subjects” as reported in this article. How can the U.S. allow this chemical in our food – much less in cereal aimed and targeted at our kids?

Starburst Fruit Chews ingredients

And speaking of targeting our kids – food companies have found a way to naturally color candy all over Europe, but our candy here is still full of artificial substances made from petroleum and GMO sugar. Looking at the ingredients in Starburst Fruit Chews provides a great example of this disgrace.

I saved the most startling fact for last. One very cautionary set of ingredients that are included in almost all of the American products but not the U.K. products are GMO’s, in the form of either corn or soy.

There have been no long term human studies on GMOs and preliminary studies on animals show horrific consequences. For instance, a study showed GMOs caused toxic and allergic reactions, sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ studied in lab animals. 

Another study revealed that female rats fed GMO soy for 15 months showed significant health issues in their uterus and reproductive cycle, compared to rats fed organic soy or those raised without soy. A 2009 French Study concluded that Glyphosate (used on GMO soy) can kill the cells in the outer layer of the human placenta, the organ that connects the mother to her fetus, providing nutrients and oxygen and emptying waste products. 

A Russian study conducted on hamsters that were fed GMO soy diets for two years over three generations found that by the third generation, most of the hamsters lost the ability to have babies, showed slower growth, and suffered a higher mortality rate.

Example UK genetically modified ingredient label
Example UK genetically modified ingredient label

In the U.K. food companies are required by law to list if a certain ingredient is derived from a genetically modified or genetically engineered material on the label. Out of all the products I researched, I couldn’t find one product with this label. (See example from GMO-Compass and BBC above of what it would look like if I did.)

This was very telling considering that not only have food companies taken out all sorts of hazardous chemical ingredients abroad – but they also have willingly reformulated their products without GMOs.

Food corporations in the U.S. claim reformulating their products to remove harmful ingredients or changing labels would be too expensive – but they’ve already done just that in Europe and in many other countries. Their governments listened to the outrage of their people and took the safety of their citizens’ health above everything else.

Is it too much to ask the same for us in the United States of America? How much do our sickness, obesity, and mortality rates have to worsen before they respond to us?

I will leave you with this note:  Lisa and I are very disturbed about the shameful hypocrisy allowed to happen with our food supply here in the U.S. In fact we are feeling very compelled to do something about it. Stay tuned, because we are going to need every one of you to help when we are ready. In the meantime, I hope you’ll come check me out at Food Babe and also share this article (you can use the green ShareThis button below).

March 5th Update: Lisa and I have started a petition – please sign and share it now. Together we can make a change.

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581 thoughts on “Food Babe Investigates: How Food Companies Exploit Americans with Ingredients Banned in Other Countries”

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for the great article!

    I’m from Australia, and when on holidays in the US last year, both my partner and I had this constant ‘not quite right’ feeling and often felt rather sick after eating, particularly fast food which was very hard to escape. After days of this going on, we started looking at the labels and thought there seemed to be a whole lot more listed than what we normally saw. Your article definitely confirms my suspicion.

  2. hi,
    I found this very interesting. I live in the UK and have just been advised to try cutting out all processed foods and also wheat, bread, potatoes and rice from my diet, as I may have very high insulin levels (however I am under healthy weight) To be fair, UK ‘junk food’ isn’t that great anyway and alot of people struggle to afford healthy food, or even know what it is, or what they should be looking for.
    However I have been to America twice to vist, the last time about 4 years ago I went to Texas and Washington DC in the same trip, and I was shocked by the huge variation in the type of food avaiable, the labelling and types of supermarkets available. The two states were like two completley different countries! I can’t belive in walmart in Texas there is half a shoppping aisle just for pop tarts! There was blue icing on the cakes, and the cakes were blue! I think I even took a photo i was so surprised! By the time the holiday ended I was glad to get home and not eat food which has sugary taste in everything. In Washington, they appeared more health aware, there was the calories listed in very restuarant and sandwich shop (not always a good guideline but better than nothing) and there were alot more shops selling fruit and vegetables.
    The UK is by no means great and obesity is a huge problem here, however it looks like America’s don’t really stand a chance atm. Good luck with your campaign.

  3. Thank you for this information. I applaud your efforts to spread the word about this topic. Articles such as this are vital to get the message out; however, I do believe the word would spread more easily if consumers had a “cheat sheet” to easily reference. I know I find myself returning to articles such as this to remind myself of the many complicated additives that I should avoid. If a simple page went viral online….perhaps with columns for “ingredients,” “harmful effects,” and “commonly found in”…this message might more easily reach consumers.

  4. This is just….wow. I am literally in shock. In today’s day where information is everywhere I can’t believe how many people are choosing to live in the dark. Horrifying.

  5. I am going to throw this out there. When my son was little he would go from complete angel to a demon child that spat, kicked, bit, screamed, cursed, and banged his head and feet(causing many fractures in his feet and ankles). The doctors said he had ADHD. No meds helped. They were sure I was going to have to institutionalize my son at 3. He walked with a limp and he stuttered. My sons breath always smelled like rubbing alcohol. We were told by his doctor that he had no idea why his breath would smell like that sometimes. One day I was searching the web for help, any help at all… I was desperate. I came across an article that said red food dye caused cancer in animals. I dug deeper. It said that the dye also caused irrational behavior after time. Then I came across an article, where I woman had found that her daughter had a severe allergy to the dye. She would go absolutely bonkers if she had anything with it in it. I started looking at the things I was feeding my son. I was surprised to find that most of what he ate had red, yellow or blue dyes in it. Even the meds he was on had dye in them. I decided to cut ALL dyes out of his diet. In 3 days I had my child back. No tantrums, no biting, just a loving sweet boy. The rubbing alcohol smell on his breath was his body’s reaction to the dyes. It flipped a switch in his little brain and turned him into a monster. For 2 years we kept him away from anything with dyes in it. He stopped stuttering, he began to walk normally and the rubbing alcohol breath went away. He also stopped getting sick every two weeks. The dye was also weakening his immune system leaving him open to anything and everything…. In kindergarten he had a substitute teacher who didn’t read his file. She gave the kids Hawaiian punch and baby ruths as a snack(my son was also allergic to peanuts). In a matter of minutes he had the room tore apart, the teacher locked in a closet and literally started a riot in the kindergarten pre k area. When we got to the school my son was nowhere to be found. I looked outside and I saw his tiny body laying on the ground. When I got to him his lips were blue and his breathing was shallow. He had a red mustache on his lips and he reeked of rubbing alcohol. He was touch and go for two weeks. My son is 17 now, and he ALWAYS checks the labels of everything that goes into his mouth. Yes, he misses out on a lot of things… But his life is worth more than a handful of Doritos or a cherry popsicle. I honestly believe that the reason so many kids have all different kinds of cancers these days is because the foods they eat and drink are poisoning them. When I was a kid I very rarely heard of kids with cancer. It was even rarer when my mom was growing up and almost unheard of when my grandmother was a child. People need to open their eyes.

    1. I am a special education teacher and have worked in special needs camps for many years. Many of the children and young adults had violent behavior. An area Dr. decided to put several of them on no Red Dye 40 diets..the turn around in every single one of them was shocking to see. So many of them were put on other restrictions such as no HFCS, MSG,aspartame, etc. Extreme violent outbursts just seemed to go away.

      there also seems to be so many people that have peanut allergies. That was pretty much unheard of 30 years ago. I wonder if it is due to the chemicals they use to grow the peanuts or they have modified peanuts so much that some peoples bodies are not able to handle it?

      I also agree with your views on childhood cancer. If it is not partly coming from the foods kids are eating then where is it coming from? There is also a lot of research out there that supports the dangers of pregnant women consuming aspartame and MSG. They link it to developmental delays and a whole array of problems that can effect the unborn child. As a teacher, I have had to say goodbye to students that lives were cut way too short. This was all due to cancer!!!

      I kind of sound like a nerd, but I have read all(US and Europe) the complete studies done on aspartame. I can not believe they allowed it back on the market after they banned it once.

  6. Do you think with the AMA declaring obesity a disease, that it will force food companies to use more wholesome ingredients?

  7. We have to boycott the companies that are putting junk in our foods. The bottom line is loss of sales will hurt, nothing else will. I don’t see the FDA changing any time soon. Lobbyists are paying congress to allow food corporations to poison us. BOYCOTT these corporations.

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  9. Hi,
    Just wondering if you could please list the countries that have banned ingredients that are used in the United States. I have been looking for this info and all I can find is that the United Kingdom has asked for a voluntary removal, and that Austria & Norway HAD banned some things but the ban was over turned. It would be nice to see some proof since some people are saying that you are regurgitating other peoples “feelings” as facts, with out checking their validity.
    Regards, Steve

  10. Valuable information. Lucky me I found your site accidentally, and I’m shocked why this twist of fate did not happened in advance! I bookmarked it.

  11. Just saying… The ingredients in the UK processed foods are still not what I’d call healthy. The Betty Crocker stuff in particular reads like something I wouldn’t want to eat. Palm fat? Hardened vegetable fat? Propane-something? Carboxymethylcellulose?

    1. Ivy, you’re right that processed food in general is junk. Palm fat is actually a pretty good fat. It’s stuff like soy and Canola (rapeseed) that are very nasty. Palm was driven out of many foods when the “great saturated fat scare” was perpetrated on the public by the liquid oil industry that was peddling junk vegetable oils over good oils like palm and coconut.

  12. As a Brit visiting the States, I’m not surprised to read there’s a difference between what’s in our food. I never knew green or blue breakfast cereal even existed until I went to an American Walmart. It even turns the milk turquoise! The white bread tasted of sugar and sometimes had odd yellow tinges in it. Even the wholegrain bread tasted sweeter than I’m used to, like brioche rather than bread.

    Now I’m not holding up the UK as some bastion for healthy eating. We’re the most obese country in Europe! I’m sure we’re guilty of our own dodgy hidden ingredients in food. But if a citzen of the most obese nation in Europe thinks your foods have odd colours and unnecessary added sugar, you know you’re doing it wrong.

    I am curious about the slating of yeast extract though. Isn’t that what Marmite is? A wonderful by-product of beer-making; an acquired tasting spread full of folic acid and B vitamins we’re very fond of in the UK. Or does it have multiple meanings I don’t know about?

  13. Great article. I wish everyone could read it and truly understand the cause for concern. I’m Canadian and have noticed the difference in certain foods (i.e. milkshakes and ice cream at McDonalds that actually don’t contain dairy and also Cheez Whiz ). The ingredients are totally different in the USA and Cheez Whiz in the USA doesn’t even have cheese in it whereas in Canada it’s the second ingredient. These are just a couple of foods that I’ve been made aware of from talking to people on the internet but I’m sure theres so many others. It blows my mind that they would go to the trouble to make a totally different product with the same name and sell it in the USA when there are healthier alternatives. There is some major corruption and underhanded business dealings going on and I hope people stand up and force change in the USA !

  14. @ilyana – I am from the UK but have lived in the US for 7 years. When I first arrived here I was amazed at how many ingredients were in every item I looked at in the grocery store! The UK food labeling laws are very strict & not only follow UK legal guidelines but also EU guidelines. All ingredients must be labelled in descending order of quantity & all additives listed including their E number (European registration number).
    This is a great article that makes me very happy that I have my own vegetable garden & buy mostly organic foods. It does make me sad for those that cannot afford to do so or are lacking in education & therefore at the mercy of the big food companies. I agree with Heather that the UK does have an obesity problem, & again it is down to the fact that, for example, it is cheaper to feed a family of 4 at McDonald’s than to buy fresh fruit & vegetables – EU subsidies should be redirected to healthy options!! The UK is going through very tough economic times & for those people lacking in nutrition awareness it is cheaper to take the easy fast food option.

    1. I don’t understand – it seems like the food companies would be saving money for there own coffers if they dropped all the EXTRA stuff they keep adding to our foods it makes no sense to me – it would be a cost saving measure if they made it in the US the same as they do in Europe and other places

      1. It’s not as simple as that, Virginia. A lot of the stuff added to the food has a functional purpose. Take BHT and TBHQ for instance. These additives are antioxidants: they prevent oils (usually vegetable oils) in foods from becoming rancid too quickly. Ever had a bag of tortilla chips that is about 3 years old? That painty cardboardy odor you smell is because of oils going rancid. Without BHT and TBHQ, the oils in the chips will go rancid within a month. By adding BHT and TBHQ, food companies can extend the “life” of these foods by months, which would save them from having unsale-able product.

      2. It makes you wonder though, Edmund, that if they can figure out how to do it in the UK, surely they could do it here at home?

      3. Tbhq causes major stomach issues in people I even seen tbhq in dog food believe it or not for dogs with sensitive stomachs come on it will cause worse issues in the dogs etc
        Tbhq is also in Ramon noodles I noticed my stomach issues got worse after eating it for like a week straight when I found out what tbhq is I cut way back on Ramon now my stomach is doing better
        I also seen tbhq in the dove chocolate bar.

  15. Hi Lisa,

    This was informative. My wife and I read and watch a lot documentaries about food and are very interested in increasing our knowledge so that we can eat right and help spread the word as well. so I just want to Thank You for your efforts.

    p.s. I’m actually thinking of starting my own blog about healthy eating and food. Do you have any suggestions/advice?


  16. Hmm, Carmine is bug blood.. Or at least it’s produced by squeezing the guts out of a certain kind of insect. It’s found in pretty much all lipsticks/glosses. Because I am vegetarian, I don’t eat it, but regardless I still count it as a shady ingredient. Besides just me being a vegetarian, I don’t think anyone would be too pleased to hear about its production. You don’t find Carmine in most American foods, but you find Red 40… just as gross.. Or maybe even more!

  17. Excellent website; minor update needed: the term “natural flavorings” in the US usually means that the flavoring was derived by chemically altering corn or some other grown item. So, natural flavoring in a strawberry sauce can easily mean no actual strawberry. This is consistent with US food labeling laws. Michael Pollan wrote about this in “Omnivores Dilemma”. Just because something was originally natural does not make it safe. For example, I could chemical alter corn by burning it, but I would not want to eat it. There are all sorts of chemical processes that US food corporations are performing on food that alter the chemical structure and effects of the food on one’s health. See excellent explanation of “natural flavorings” at

  18. Thank you for continuing to post information like this! It is so important to be educated on what is going into your body. I already make most of what my family eats from scratch, but it makes me sad to see that there are already alternatives to the partially hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup and artificial dyes I work so hard to avoid. My life would be so much easier if I didn’t have to worry about every single crumb that goes into my mouth.

  19. I have a question: Why is the lifespan of humans increasing and not decreasing if this is so bad? The key to healthy living, is moderation. The proper balance of healthy food and junk food. It works every time it has been tried.

    1. Lifespan had been increasing, with reduced tobacco consumption a major help. With major increases in diabetes and obesity, this trend is expected to change. While we do not have a crystal ball, the scientific data that we now have indicates that we are likely to see reduced lifespans in the US. For the first time in US history, life expectancy for youth is expected to be less than that of their parents when they were the same ages. Explanation: although life expectancy increases once we get past the dangerous teen years (when accidents are a top cause of death), if we compare life expectancy for teens now to their parents’ when their parents were teens, we see a lower likelihood that today’s teens will live as long as their parents will. According to former FDA Commissioner (& Pediatrician) David Kessler, in his well-researched book “The End of Overeating”, since the early 1980’s, foods have been reformulated whenever possible to become hyper-palatable. This leads to conditioned overeating, which is fueling the obesity and diabetes epidemics. – Brian, BS, Health Education, MS, Science Education

  20. while I understand your outrage, you seem to fail to consider the labeling laws in the respective countries. There’s not guarantee that the UK versions are complete lists as required in the US. Not to mention the fact that you give the UK a pass for “glucose syrup” which is essentially the same thing as high fructose corn syrup.

  21. This is indeed fascinating and sad. I just got back from a vacation in the UK, mostly in Scotland, and honestly they may have a bigger weight issue than the US from what I saw. I was pretty surprised at how overweight folks were there. So in the end these ingredient substitutions are not addressing a larger problem.

  22. William McGregor

    The biggest single reason why food processors use High Fructose corn syrup instead of sugar is because domestic sugar costs nearly twice as much as foreign cane sugar. The domestic sugar companies succeeded in getting the Federal Government to impose a tariff on foreign sugar that makes the foreign sugar as expensive as domestic sugar. Which makes it too expensive to be used as an ingredient.

  23. Karen Scribner

    The malt in US rice krispies is made from wheat. The UK version is made from barley as listed. (Barley and rye are hybridized also.) UK versions of foods have GMOs in them that you have forgotten to highlight; an example is modified corn starch in the red velvet cake. All of the sugar is GMO beet unless listed as cane sourced.EXCELLENT ARTICLE!

  24. Karen Scribner

    You have forgotten to name the original primitive modified food – hybrid wheat. Even if you cook from scratch, if you are eating wheat you will still have fluctuating blood sugar and extra belly fat. Cut out the wheat and you will not want any sugars which are the cancer food.

  25. The information contained in this article is ineed criminal, however I have but one giant disagreement. The governments hands are not tied by the big food and chemical industries, yet they work in colusion all the time. The FDA and Monsanto are a virtual revolving door for bigwigs, or oligarchy favorites, who pass between the two companies with as much ease as walking across the street. Infact our governments hands are not tied at all, they operate freely and with intent to make us, or keep us sick. This is evident in the latest continuing resolution, passed and signed into law that contained a rider dubed The Monsanto Protection Act. We the people can change it however we must insist on term limits, no money involved in lobbying and to hold our representative accountable for every action taken. No more life long politicians getting rich from companies who corrupt the free market. Money is the root of all evil, and it all boils down to that.

    1. KelliB,
      You got it. The current fashion is to blame Big “_______” (fill in the blank) when in fact the real driver is the Feds. The Feds are evil ones…which is not to say the corps are innocent, they are not. But if the feds did their job, the corps would not, could not.

  26. This does not sound too healthy.

    Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids (glyceryl monostearate, glyceryl distearate)

    A normal part of digestion, prepared commercially from glycerin (see E422) and fatty acids. These are normally obtained from hydrogenated soya bean oil so may be GM.

    Used where the foaming power of egg protein needs to be retained in the presence of fat and in baked goods as an ‘anti-staling’ agent where it prevents the loss of water from starches.

    Reportedly the most commonly used emulsifier in the food industry it can be found in, amongst other foods, Black Forest gateau mix, cakes, hot-chocolate mix, aerosol creams, shaped crisps, quick custard mix, packet dessert topping, dehydrated potato and sponge puddings.

    Vegetarians beware – although unlikely, could conceivably be of animal origin.

  27. Food Babe, I have a question. I see the UK versions have a lot of mono and diglycerides in them. From my research these are legally considered emulsifiers but really still trans-fats. It is a clever way of manufactures getting around being able to claim NO trans-fat.

    What is the right answer,…are these bad or not?

  28. These multiple rules and formulae occur outside food. Let’s talk to the construction workers about the products they use. . . there are items outlawed in CA as carcinogens, but are “miraculously” safe to use in NY. Our sheetrock is in extra large sheets to save tape and spackling costs, but European carpenters use smaller pieces that a person can safely handle on his/her own. There is a lot of wool pulled across our eyes in the name of “modern” and “labor saving.”

    1. What a concept “smaller piece that a person can safely handle on his/her own” !!! The wool pulled over Americans’ eyes is SO THICK it lets in little light, much less the whole truth. THANK you for sharing this!

  29. While many of the UK options have less preservatives, many have palm oil which is super problematic in destroying rainforest lands and orangutan’s habitat. The best thing to do is not eat any of this crap!

  30. Sugar in foods is out of control. What if you can block the sugar before it enters your blood stream and damages your body. Click into my website and watch the video, it’s pretty amazing! There is less than 5000 members and growing everyday. Be in it early before the big bang and your left in the dust.

  31. Just to let you know, FoodBabe, the “glucose-fructose syrup” in UK products IS HFCS.
    Also, do you KNOW why these companies would be making different products for America than they do for other countries? Doesn’t that come at EXTRA costs for the companies?
    The way I see it, they are purposefully, at some expense, poisoning Americans. It’s not “well, nobody forces you to buy our products”. Yes, you are forced to buy poisonous food there because labelling tells you absolutely nothing at this point, e.g. whether it contains GMOs. It is catastrophic and ridiculous how little the USA authorities care for their people (with FDA approving food additives and GMOs other countries have rejected/complained they haven’t been adequately tested) for such a “developed” country.
    This is probably the prime reason I’d never want to visit America. I wouldn’t even feel safe eating an apple. Or water, laced with hormones, pesticides, fluoride and chlorine, LOL.

  32. I am an elderly Senior citizen with a lifelong history of allergic reactions to plants, medications and foods. In childhood – plants, aspirin allergies. We were fed on home garden foods and raised my kids on our own garden and health foods also. Over decades, more and more medications (ie. ibuprofen), created multiple digestive issues. In recent years, ANY new medication has brought on very severe allergic reactions. Having turned from conventional to Integrative medicine, I now learn I’m allergic to nearly every food one can be tested on. The U.S. health system and food suppliers are indeed ruining citizens’ health! And doctors have no knowledge of what’s wrong!

  33. I started watching dyes years ago as my son had reactions especially to freeze pops and squeeze it drinks as well as koolaid..After reading the Feingold diet i knew why. Poor kid was not his fault his tantrums and red cheeks. This is long overdue girls, keep up the good work! The only problem is some foods don’t taste as good because at first we are so addicted to them. After a while you start to like the new improved version better but sometimes the manufacturer put forth a poor effort to change the product then pull it because of poor sales.

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