Arguing Cause RT

Check- in Evaluation 3/17/2014

  • I found this part of my paper to be particularly interesting:

Because of the breakdown of certain additives in food. I like how once I got past the not putting in a solution it was easy just to prove that there was a problem and there are serious risks of what the U.S. still allows in our food. I like my subject and I will admit this paper was hard for me to write but I think it turned out really great.

  • This part was surprisingly difficult:

Because of my topic. When I had originally picked a food topic I didn't exactly go for what I was writing about in this paper. But I had to change my topic in a way to fit sources I have been finding. Also there is not as many sources I would like to have and get information from. Especially not those found in an online database.

  • Next time I would do this differently:

I would allow myself more time. Like I would actually start a few days earlier and just take the paper section by section. I would have also tried finding more sources even though I used 6 its always nice being able to take more and working that into your paper.

Health Hazards Found in Many Common U.S. Food Preservatives

Ever heard the expression, you are what you eat? If that were the case many of us would be toxic. We consume food preservatives that are used originally to suppress flames, or have horrible side effects such as migraines, allergies, and behavioral changes in children. The food and drug administration (FDA) is an organization that portects us from consuming toxins that cause these side effects. Some of the food preservatives we consume daily can cause cancer over time. Food borne illness causes approximately 3,000 deaths per year in the U.S. alone (Goyanes 2013). Some of the most harmful food additives found in the U.S. are: Food coloring, brominated vegetable oil (BVO), potassium bromate, recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), and azodicarbonamide. Over 100 other countries have banned the same toxins due to the health risks that they bring to the consumers.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is our safety net. It is our voice to say what is and what is not okay to go into our food. The FDA oversees many food additives before they are released to the public. They are given the information on the substance and exactly what it does to the food, and to the consumer. They have the power to approve, deny, or recall any food item, or ingredient. In the book, Rich Food, Poor Food the authors spent six years going around the world to study ingredients that seemed to cause a red flag. The authors looked at over 150 ingredients, and from that came with a compacted list of the most hazardous ingredients that many of us consume daily. When Rich Food, Poor Food came out it caused a lot of controversy as to why the U.S. still allows ingredients that have been banned elsewhere. Amongst their research they found that the U.S. is one of the last countries to still allow the intake of these specific preservatives. When the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) was asked to comment on the most common harmful food additives such as: food coloring, brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), and azodicarbonamide, they made no comment. However, in the past they have said once they allow a certain ingredient to be used in food it’s almost impossible to ban that ingredient. The FDA stated “Our mission is first and foremost to protect public health by ensuring that foods are safe and properly labeled.” It is because of them the U.S. food supply is “the safest in the world” (Eng, 2013). That seems to be a false claim, because otherwise we would join many other countries in banning carcinogen linked chemicals in our food supply. Yet they are taking no action to take these toxins off the shelves.

The use of food coloring is found in almost everything we eat, and drink. It is said that we add food coloring to our food because we are a country that relies on the look of food rather than just the taste. While some food coloring may be fine, there are a few that are linked to causing many life threatening problems. The most harmful food colorings we can consume are blue #1, red #40, and most importantly yellow #5, and #6. An example of foods that continue to use the coloring are macaroni and cheese, M&M’s, sports drinks, pet food, and even medicines. There are many more foods that have this as a listed ingredient. When food coloring first started being used the ingredients that went into making certain colors were natural ingredients that caused no harm. As of today food coloring is made up of many other ingredients because of how effective and fast the dye's are made to represent different colors. “Artificial colors are made from coal tar, which is also used to seal-coat products to preserve and protect the shine of industrial floors” (Goyanes, 2013). Not only does it protect the shine of floors it also is used to kill off lice. Yellow food colorings #5 and #6 have been shown to cause hypersensitivity in children, and are therefore banned in countries including Norway, Finland, and Australia (Säätelä, 2013). Knowing the risk of yellow #5, and #6 two mothers petitioned Kraft to stop the use of the dye. Sadly Kraft said no (Sagon, 2013).

Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is found in many drinks such as mountain dew, energy drinks, and in the past, Gatorade. BVO is originally used as a flame retardant. So how did that end up in our drinks? (stronger claim to rephrase as a statement) According to the FDA, BVO is safe in small amounts and there is no other substitute that could take its place. However, the other 100+ countries who have banned the ingredient have been able to place the ingredient with a proper substitute. BVO was brought to the FDA as a temporary ingredient and still is listed as temporary forty years later. BVO is dangerous for your health because” it can build up in fatty tissues and cause reproductive and behavioral problems in rodents.” (Eng, 2013). BVO is just as bad as drinking chlorine, because of the direct effects it can have on our body. Directly BVO is linked to major organ system damage, birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia, and hearing loss. (Goyanes, 2013). For the protection of their nations this ingredient is banned in over 100 countries.

Potassium bromate is most commonly found in wheat products such as hot dog buns, hamburger buns, etc. It is said to give it the “bleach color” and “elasticity”. Potassium bromate has been linked directly to “many health conditions, such as kidney and nervous system damage, thyroid problems, gastrointestinal discomfort, and cancer, and therefore is banned in the European Union, China, Canada, and other countries.” (Säätelä, 2013). Potassium bromate is similar as BVO because they share some of the same toxins. In 1991 the state of California had declared potassium bromate a carcinogen. (Sagon, 2013). The FDA stance on potassium bromate is to urge bakers to leave it out if they can but yet it is still allowed for consumers to buy, and eat. (Goyanes, 2013).

Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), and recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) is a synthetic version of a growth hormone injected into cows for the use of dairy purposes. rBGH and rBST is supposed to increase the milk production up to 10%. This means more money for the farmers and a greater supply for the people. Many people don’t think there is a problem with the synthetic hormone, because it causes more problems for the cows rather than the human consumption, but there are still hazardous qualities for the humans as well. “The milk is supercharged with IGF-1 (insulin growth factor -1), which has been linked to breast, colon, and prostate cancers.” (Goyanes, 2013). It should also be a responsibility of ours to look at what it is doing to the cows. Cows that have been subjected to this hormone have been found to become infertile, and suffer from inflamed and infected udders. (Goyanes, 2013). When rBGH was first introduced there was a lot of controversy about it. The biggest concern was, what would happen to the small dairy farmers if this chemical would be allowed? (Kleinman & Kinchy, 2003). Now that we have the answers and that we can confirm there are risks for both parties, there should be no reason as to why the USFDA chooses not to ban the use of ingredients.

Azodicarbonamide, like potassium bromate is also found in bread products, frozen foods, and packaged goods. The U.S. uses these ingredients to whiten the flour, rather than to wait for the flour to whiten naturally. Again this goes back to the views of food in the U.S. According to Shape magazine, this ingredient is so bad for you that not only has Singapore banned this ingredient they have also put a fine of a half a million dollars and a 15 year jail sentence for using this chemical (Goyanes, 2013). Azodicarbonamide is found in plastic products, or rubber like items. An example of this would be the bottom of work out shoes, yoga mats, or plastic silverware. Azodicarbonamide is linked to asthma. (Goyanes, 2013). ABC news reports that it leads to skin sensitization and is recommended when dealing with this chemical directly to wear gloves (Kim, 2013).

There are many more ingredients that cause problems for our health. In fact, over 150 have been found to link to some kind of problem, and in return have been banned in other countries. However ingredients such as: food coloring, brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), and azodicarbonamide; are the most harmful and common food preservatives still allowed in the United States. Most people are not aware what is going into their bodies, especially children who always want the unhealthiest foods. We rely too heavily on the FDA to have our best interest in mind. The U.S is one of the few countries still allowing harmful food preservatives. The problem is that the chemicals we put into our bodies on a regular basis are destroying us slowly and the FDA is not taking any action to protect us, or speak for us. Experts recommend reading labels before committing to buy. In some cases it is worth spending the extra money for the healthier option. Just because it is on the shelf does not mean that it is completely safe for our consumption.


Kleinman, Daniel Lee, and Abby J. Kinchy. "Boundaries in Science Policy Making: Bovine Growth Hormone in the European Union." Sociological Quarterly 44.4 (2003): JSTOR. Web. (February 13th 2013)

Boundaries In Science Policy Making: Bovine Growth Hormone in the European Union

Kim, Susanna. "11 Food Ingredients Banned Outside the U.S. That We Eat." ABC News. ABC News, 26 June 2013. Web. (February 13th 2013)

Home> Lifestyle>Lifestyle 11 Food Ingredients Banned Outside the U.S. That We Eat

Säätelä, Elsa. "Foods Americans Eat That Are Banned Around the World." Fox News. Fox News, 23 Oct. 2013. Web. (February 13th 2013)

Foods Americans eat that are banned around the world

Goyanes, Cristina. "13 Banned Foods Still Allowed in the U.S." Shape 15 January 2013: n. pag. Print.(February 13th 2013)

13 Banned Foods Still Allowed in the U.S. 1072

Sagon, Candy. "8 Foods We Eat That Other Countries Ban." AARP Blog. AARP, 25 July 2013. Web.(February 13th 2013)

8 Foods We Eat That Other Countries Ban

Eng, Monica. "U.S. Allows Chemicals in Food That Are Illegal Elsewhere." Chicago Tribune News. Chicago Tribune News, 21 Jan. 2013. Web.(February 13th 2013)

U.S. allows chemicals in food that are illegal elsewhere

Here is the link to my peer review page: Arguing Cause Peer Review RT

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