What does Europe know that we don’t?

25 Feb

You may be surprised to know that several food items that are banned in the European Union (EU) are still allowed in the United States.

What are these items?

  • Genetically Modified Foods (GM)
  • Irradiated Foods
  • Antibiotics given to cattle
  • Food dyes
  • Pesticides
  • Chlorinated Chickens
  • Food Contact Chemicals

What is the EU’s stance on these items?

Genetically Modified Foods (GM)

  • Six E.U. member states — Austria, Hungary, France, Greece, Germany and Luxembourg — ban the cultivation of GM maize on their territories (source)
  • Europeans have had a food labeling law in place since the 1990s (source)

Irradiated Foods

  • Nearly no irradiated foods can be found in Europe due to strict regulations(source)

Antibiotics given to cattle

  • The EU banned the feeding of antibiotics and related drugs to livestock for growth promotion purposes in 2006 (source)

Food dyes

  • Several EU nations have  banned artificial dyes and require foods with any approved dyes to be clearly labeled  (source)

Pesticides

  • The EU has strict guidelines for pesticides and has passed a law that could result in bans on up to 10 percent of insecticides, 10 percent of herbicides, and 32 percent of fungicides (source)

You can read more about some of the dangers of pesticides here

Chlorinated Chickens (source)

  • The EU and Russia have outlawed the chlorination of chickens as an anti-microbial measure (source)

Food Contact Chemicals

  • Bottles containing BPA were outlawed as of June 2011 (mainly for political vs. scientific reasons) (source) 

Question?

What do you think about the differences between what’s outlawed here and in the EU?  Would you like to see any of these things outlawed in the US?

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4 Responses to “What does Europe know that we don’t?”

  1. Laura February 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    The U.S. is really in need of a wake up call. Unfortunately, the political climate in the country currently seems to be in favor of less government regulation rather than more, even on issues of basic food safety. U.S. corporations will spend millions to keep perpetuating the myth that our food supply is safe. Plus with the ongoing recession and escalating gas prices, mainstream consumers are not willing to accept the higher food prices that these changes will surely create. But I have faith that one day we’ll all come to our senses and force food companies to make the necessary changes to protect future generations of Americans. Anyone who believes the major food manufacturers will do it voluntarily in the absence of government regulation should spend some time employed by a publicly traded company where the #1 goal is hitting Wall Street’s profit expectations quarter after quarter. One day we’ll all look back on these practices and they’ll seem as barbaric as those taking place prior to the 1906 Food and Drug Act.

    • Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous February 25, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

      I agree with you. The problem is an abundant lack of education and awareness on the part of the consumer. If they knew what they were buying and the potential health risks these food items posed, they would demand more regulations. I think that unless the consumers force the government into passing more regulations,the government will never do it on their own. For example, Nutrigrain bars in the US are made with red food dyes versus the ones in Europe which are colored with beet juice. How is the dye ok for us but not for Europeans? I wish there were more politicians that got fired up about this and could elicit some change. Good to know I’m not alone.

  2. Corinne @ RI Nutrition Housecalls February 26, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    You are definitely not alone. I too would love to see more politicians get fired up about the issue, but I don’t foresee much change in the future. Change has to occur on an individual level- which is where awareness comes in. Once people learn to view food as not just something that tastes good but something that has a powerful effect on their health, then they might be more conscious of the things they buy and eat. People have to realize that just because they can buy their favorite foods in a grocery store does not mean that they are okay to eat… I’m always shocked to hear people don’t read the ingredient lists on items they buy. Question whats in your food and where it comes from! We are so fortunate to have access to many good foods and the choice of what to buy and eat. There is no reason to buy crap! Great job on the post…. and no, the dyes are in no way fine for one country to eat and not another… kind of like the fluoride in the water issue too.

    • Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous February 26, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

      Thanks for the comment. One of my goals with blogging is to get the word out and educate people. Once you learn about this topics, you just want to keep educating yourself about the healthiest way to live. The hardest part is just getting people aware that they can’t trust all the food they buy in the grocery store. We all need to take a more active role in demanding healthy and safe foods.

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