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Big Food Sells the Same Products in Other Countries – Minus the Chemicals
Many of you probably remember when you first started reading food labels. Do you remember the first time you saw the abbreviation “BHT”? Many people say that they thought it was nothing more than an approved preservative. Well, they are right, in a certain way. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is a preservative. It’s a synthetic antioxidant which is added to many foods to help preserve the color, smell, and flavor. It also is approved by the FDA, but not quite in the way you are thinking of. Find out how to read labels.
In 1958, the FDA was given the power to put some food ingredients together under one label called “Generally Recognized as Safe,” or GRAS for short. This enabled the FDA to approve things that most people know to be safe, such as apples for flavoring, without having to go through testing. Who needs to test an apple, right? We all know that they are safe.
The problem with this law is that food companies use it as more of a loophole to get certain items approved without really being properly tested. Food manufacturers can simply tell the FDA that the ingredients in their products are GRAS and the FDA will give approval, without asking for tests, without asking for proof that certain chemicals are safe. So technically, BHT has been approved by the FDA, but it hasn’t been tested and it certainly isn’t safe.
Now that you know how this process works, let’s go back to BHT, and its cousin BHA, since they are often used in combination. Both of these ingredients have been linked to behavioral problems in children, to have negative effects on the central nervous system, and impair kidney and liver function, as well as causing tumors. Even the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Toxicology Program, and the World Health Organization lists these two ingredients as possible carcinogens!
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