Posted on: January 9, 2018 at 2:52 pm
Last updated: February 7, 2018 at 9:50 am

Grocery stores are filled with foods and ingredients both good and bad, healthy and unhealthy, or even legal and illegal. With so many foods we see on shelves at local grocery stores, we would like to trust manufacturers’ labels and ingredients. But, as so many of you know, that is not always the case. As a result, we the consumers have to be extra diligent when we walk down those towering aisles of food. So, to help make your grocery shopping job a bit easier, we’ve compiled a list of foods that have been banned in some countries because of their ingredients.

7 Banned Ingredients in Foods Around the World You Should Avoid

Although there are many ingredients that governments should consider banning, these ones prove they are moving in the right direction.

Artificial Dyes

As reported by Reader’s Digest, food produced each year contains about 15 million pounds of petroleum-based dyes. While researchers have yet to prove all of them to pose serious health risks, there are 7 artificial dyes you should be aware of…[1-5]

Citrus Red 2 has been banned for human consumption and, in animal studies, caused bladder tumors. Although, orange producers are still allowed to use it to color oranges’ skin.

Blue #1 and #2 – most often found in candies, cereals, sodas, and pet foods – have been proven to cause brain cancer and hinder nerve-cell development. Based on the research, Norway, Finland, and France have all banned those two blues.

While the United States banned Red #3 in 1990 for topical use, it was never prohibited from manufacturers using the artificial dye in foods and drinks.

In comparison to many European nations, the U.S. has not yet banned the carcinogen Red #40 which may contain p-Cresidine, a contaminant linked to immune system tumors. Red #40 is most commonly found in grenadine, ice cream, fruit cocktails, and maraschino cherries.


In six out of 11 studies, researchers found Yellow #5 to cause cells’ genetic material to deteriorate and mutate healthy DNA. It even contains cancer-causing compounds (e.g., benzidine and 4-aminobyphenyl) and, for that reason, has been banned in Austria and Norway.

The last of the artificial dyes to be cautious of is Yellow #6, which is banned in both Finland and Norway for having the same cancer-causing compounds as Yellow #5. Research has shown this artificial dye to cause adrenal gland and kidney tumors in animal studies.

Further Reading:

Antibiotics in Chicken

In December 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implemented a new policy preventing and stopping the use of antibiotics in poultry, pigs, and cattle. This major move came as a result of compromised human health due to antibiotic resistance.[6]

However, while the U.S. has moved to ban the use of antibiotics in animals raised for meat, poultry farms in the U.K. still heavily use antibiotics. When you start looking at the numbers, this needs to change on every continent. Especially when more than 2,000,000+ Americans get sick because of antibiotic-resistant infections, 23,000 of whom actually die.[7]

Further Reading:

Genetically Modified Foods

In 2015, over half of Europe banned GMO products to some degree. This happened for a number of reasons: toxicity, decreased nutritional value, and allergenicity. Unfortunately, America continues to fight against genetically modified foods and corporations such as Monsanto.[8]

Moving in the right direction, 38 countries worldwide have officially banned the cultivation of genetically modified crops. Many countries continue to take strides to protect both their environment and people by setting up regulations and laws.[9]

Further Reading:

Farmed Salmon

Since the 1970s, the salmon-farming industry has grown at speeds beyond belief. In the process, though, standards have plummeted largely due the sheer number of fish they’re farming. Whereas wild salmon is bright pinkish-red, farmed salmon are fed a steady and terrible diet of (potentially genetically modified) grains, antibiotics, among other drugs and chemicals.[10,11]

The list includes petrochemicals like synthetic astaxanthin, which has been linked to vision loss. This unhealthy concoction results in the salmon’s greyish appearance. Realizing the negative impacts salmon farms have on the environment and fish themselves, countries such as Australia and New Zealand have gone so far as banning salmon grown on farms.[12,13]

Further Reading:

Fat Substitutes

Ever heard of Olestra, or its brand name Olean? It’s a no-calorie, cholesterol-free fat substitute you can still spot in American grocery stores! Just look for traditionally fatty foods like fries or bags of chips that are labelled as ‘light.’ It’s so bad that TIME deemed the FDA-approved Olestra one of the 50 worst inventions in 2010![14]

Studies have linked Olestra to gastrointestinal disease in children and terrible diarrhea in adults. While you can still find it U.S. food products, numerous counties in Europe as well as Canada have banned this ingredient.[15,16,17]

Further Reading:

Sports Drinks

What is found inside sports drinks that makes it so undesirable? Something called brominated vegetable oil (BVO). BVO is a food additive used to prevent the artificial dyes from separating from the liquid. Again, while still allowed in the U.S., Japan and countries in Europe have banned this food additive.[18,19]

While the FDA generally recognizes BVO as safe, bromine levels can accumulate in your body. Over time, researchers suggest that the flame-retardant can lead to brain, heart, and thyroid problems.[20]

Further Reading:

Hormone-Filled Dairy

Many Americans suffer from health problems that can be linked back to one thing – milk. But not just any milk. According to the American Nutrition Association, unless it carries the label “NO rBGH,” dairy milk produced in the U.S. is genetically modified.[21] Scientists have linked rBGH, a genetically-engineered bovine growth hormone, to an increased risk of different cancers (e.g., colon, prostate, and breast). This is exactly why Canada and European nations have banned the use of rBGH in their dairy products. Other notable countries include: Norway, Switzerland, New Zealand, Japan, and Australia.[22,23]

Further Reading:

The fact that ingredients like the ones listed above are being banned is a good sign. But there is definitely a lot of progress that needs to be made. So, are you going to be more cautious of the foods your shop for? Did any ingredients in this list shock you? Let us know!


[1] Calton, J., Calton, M., & Sisson, M. (2013). Rich food poor food: the ultimate grocery purchasing system (GPS). Malibu, CA: Primal Blueprint Pub.

[2] Toxicology of food dyes. (n.d.). Retrieved January 08, 2018, from

[3] Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks. (n.d.). Retrieved January 08, 2018, from

[4] Arnold, L. E., Lofthouse, N., & Hurt, E. (2012, July). Artificial Food Colors and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Symptoms: Conclusions to Dye for. Retrieved January 08, 2018, from

[5] Potera, C. (2010, October). DIET AND NUTRITION: The Artificial Food Dye Blues. Retrieved January 08, 2018, from

[6] Tavernise, S. (2013, December 11). F.D.A. Restricts Antibiotics Use for Livestock. Retrieved January 08, 2018, from

[7] Parsons, A. W. (2016, February 07). Poultry farmers ‘using more antibiotics linked to resistant food poisoning bugs’. Retrieved January 08, 2018, from

[8] Where are GMOs grown and banned? #GMOFAQ. (n.d.). Retrieved January 08, 2018, from

[9] GMO cultivation bans in Europe. (n.d.). Retrieved January 08, 2018, from

[10] Steen, J. (2016, November 15). Everything You Should Know About Salmon Farming. Retrieved January 08, 2018, from

[11] 10 American Foods You Should Never Eat – They’re Banned In Other Countries. (n.d.). Retrieved January 08, 2018, from


[12] Guilford, G. (2015, May 15). Here’s why your farmed salmon has colour added to it. Retrieved January 08, 2018, from

[13] Clayton, R. (n.d.). The drugs and additives in New Zealand food products. Retrieved January 08, 2018, from

[14] Gentilviso, C. (2010, May 27). The 50 Worst Inventions. Retrieved January 08, 2018, from,28804,1991915_1991909_1991785,00.html

[15] Olestra Linked to Gastrointestinal Disease. (n.d.). Retrieved January 08, 2018, from

[16] McRorie, J., Zorich, N., Riccardi, K., Bishop, L., Filloon, T., Wason, S., & Giannella, R. (2000, February). Effects of olestra and sorbitol consumption on objective measures of diarrhea: impact of stool viscosity on common gastrointestinal symptoms. Retrieved January 08, 2018, from

[17] Kravitz, M. (2017, March 01). 6 foods that are legal in the US but banned in other countries. Retrieved January 08, 2018, from

[18] L.D., K. Z. (2016, February 26). What is BVO and why is it in my soda? Retrieved January 08, 2018, from

[19] 8 Foods We Eat That Other Countries Ban, Artificial Food Additives. (n.d.). Retrieved January 08, 2018, from

[20] Zeliger, H. I. (2013, June). Lipophilic chemical exposure as a cause of cardiovascular disease. Retrieved January 08, 2018, from

[21] Milk and Health. (n.d.). Retrieved January 08, 2018, from

[22] Lampe, J. W. (2011, October). Dairy products and cancer. Retrieved January 08, 2018, from

[23] MALEKINEJAD, H., & REZABAKHSH, A. (2015, June). Hormones in Dairy Foods and Their Impact on Public Health – A Narrative Review Article. Retrieved January 08, 2018, from

The Hearty Soul
Health Network
We believe in using natural ingredients to be as healthy as possible. We believe dieting will never work as well as a lifestyle of healthy habits will. We believe you can treat pain and disease without relying on addictive drugs. We believe being happy is a big part of a healthy life.

A Special Message From Our Founders

Over the past few years of working with health experts all over the world, there’s one major insight we’ve learned.

You don’t have to rely on expensive medications for the rest of your lives.

Most health problems can often be resolved with a good diet, exercise and a few powerful superfoods. In fact, we’ve gone through hundreds of scientific papers and ‘superfood’ claims and only selected the top 5% that are:

  • Backed by scientific research
  • Affordable
  • Simple to use

We then put this valuable information into the Superfood as Medicine Guide: a 100+ page guide on the 7 most powerful superfoods available, including:

  • Exact dosages for every health ailment
  • DIY recipes to create your own products
  • Simple recipes
Use Superfoods as Medicine e-book

Grab your copy before the offer runs out!