SOME foods you eat might contain ingredients that are allowed on shelves of US supermarkets despite being banned in other countries.
Every country has its own set of banned ingredients, meaning product recipes vary across borders.
To spot the difference, you’ll likely have to check the fine print on the nutrition labels.
A recent TikTok video is the latest to crusade against ingredients found in American food despite not being allowed in European countries.
The video was posted by TikToker Bobby Parrish, who calls himself the Grocery Store Guy.
Parrish, who is a chef and does not have a background in food science or medicine, posts videos aimed at dissecting foods that he thinks people should and shouldn’t eat.
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In his recent post about banned foods, Parrish said that everyday items like kids cough syrup, soda, and sports drinks contain artificial colorings that are banned in places like Europe.
There are some major differences in the type of artificial colorings and food dyes that are allowed in the US compared to Europe.
Artificial colorings like Yellow #5, which studies found is associated with cancer, are not allowed in foods sold in the European Union.
In the US, companies are mandated by law to list Yellow #5 as an ingredient, but the product can still be sold. Regulators are also unable to greenlight new additives that contain known carcinogens, the New York Times previously reported.
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This is how products can end up on American shelves with an ingredient that is banned elsewhere.
“In some cases, food-processing companies will reformulate a food product for sale in Europe,” Center for Science in the Public Interest scientist Lisa Efforts told the New York Times.
Next on Parrish’s list of bad ingredients is BHT or BHA, preservatives that are no longer allowed on European shelves.
Parrish suggests looking for products with tocopherols instead, saying they’re a natural vitamin E based preservative.
Last on his list is corn syrup, also known as High Fructose Corn Syrup, which he claims is banned in other countries.
This claim, however, is inaccurate.
People often claim corn syrup is banned in places like Europe, but in actuality the sugar substitute is allowed on European shelves, although imports on the product are controlled.
According to reporting in The Atlantic, where you might find HFCS has more to do with a country's trade and agricultural policies.
The news outlet reported in 2012 that per capita consumption of HFCS was highest in the US, where people consume 55 pounds per year.
Countries that followed reportedly included Hungary at 46 pounds per capita, then Canada, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Belgium, Argentina, Korea, Japan, and Mexico.
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Countries where HFCS was not used at all included India, Ireland, Sweden, Austria, Uruguay, and Lithuania.
Finally, France, China, Australia, and the UK were said to all use less than one pound per capita.
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