Friday, December 30, 2011

Pass the bread please, wait don't.

I have seen this ingredient in a lot of products.  I had no idea it causes cancer that explains why there is such an increase of cancers in this country.  We all eat breads and lots of it, but who has heard of this problem with bread.  I was glad to read that some companies have step up to remove bromated from the flour.  We need to wake up and demand better quality of our food.
Potassium Bromate is a chemical added to flour to make bread rise better and give it a uniform consistency. Most of what is added to flour breaks down during the cooking process into bromide, which at this time, is shown little to no health risk, but what hasn’t been broken down remains in the baked goods and is a known carcinogen. Numerous petitions have been made to the FDA to ban this ingredient and many flour mills have voluntarily stopped adding it to their products. It is banned in most countries except the U.S. and Japan.
WASHINGTON - The Center for Science in the Public Interest today petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prohibit the use of potassium bromate, which is used to strengthen bread dough. CSPI charged that the FDA has known for years that bromate causes cancers in laboratory animals, but has failed to ban it.
     Bromate was first found to cause tumors in rats in 1982. Subsequent studies on rats and mice confirmed that it causes tumors of the kidney, thyroid, and other organs. Instead of banning bromate, since 1991 the FDA — with only partial success — has urged bakers to voluntarily stop using it.
     “The FDA should fulfill its responsibility to protect the public’s health,” said Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., executive director of CSPI. “Instead of meeting privately with industry, the FDA should ban bromate immediately.”
     “In 1992-93 and again in 1998-99, the FDA tested several dozen baked goods and found that many contained bromate at levels considered unsafe by the agency,” said Darren Mitchell, a CSPI attorney. “One sample tested recently had almost 1,000 times the detection limit. The FDA’s inaction needlessly exposes consumers to this harmful additive.”
     Food additives that cause cancer usually can be banned under the Delaney clause of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. However, because the FDA sanctioned the use of bromate before the Delaney clause went into effect in 1958, it is harder for the agency to ban the substance.
     Bromates have been banned in numerous countries, including the United Kingdom in 1990 and Canada in 1994. In addition, in 1991, California declared bromate a carcinogen under the state’s Proposition 65. Baked goods sold in California would have to bear a cancer warning if they contained more than a certain level of bromate. As a result, most California bakers have switched to bromate-free processes.
     Many bakers, including Best Foods, Inc. (maker of Arnold, Entenmann’s, and Orowheat brand breads and rolls), Pepperidge Farm, and Pillsbury, have switched to bromate-free processes. Also, some supermarket chains, including Giant, Jewel, Ralph’s, and Von’s, do not use bromate.
     In contrast, Interstate Brands Corp. (Wonder, Home Pride), Schmidt Baking Co. (Schmidt, Sunbeam), Tasty Baking Co. (TastyKake), and Martin’s still use potassium bromate in some of their products. Among fast-food chains, Burger King, Arby’s, and Wendy’s use bromate in buns, and Boston Market uses it in its french sandwich bread.
 CSPI advises consumers to avoid bread, rolls, doughnuts, and cakes that list “potassium bromate” or “bromated flour” among their ingredients. FDA’s limited surveys found that rolls and buns are especially likely to contain high levels of bromate.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Popcorn time!

I spent years eating microwave popcorn to lose weight, and I never end heard or thought about with the “butter flavor” was or what was in it.  Now after reading about the chemicals that are used in major national brands, I will be thinking twice about what popcorn I eat.  I mean really, lung condition from the “butter”.  I only eat butter popcorn.  Since the harmful discovery of diacetyl used to make the “butter” has been removed from products, companies are using chemicals that are just as harmful instead.  Buy a hot air popper or use the stove top like you use to.  It’s safer.

Diacetyl, the chemical that imparts the buttery flavor in microwave popcorn has a disease named after it due to the large amount of microwave popcorn factory workers that came down with the lung condition Diacetyl Induced Bronchiolitis Obliterans; or “Popcorn Worker’s Lung”. There is no official ban in the EU, and U.S. companies are starting to volunarily replace this ingredient in the microwave popcorn. The CDC has issued a safety alert for workers in factories that use diacetyl.

Back from Christmas break!

I took soon time off from blogging to spend time with my family and friends for Christmas.  I hope all of my readers had a wonderful holiday and are looking forward to the new year.  I have heard and learn about more ways of getting everyone healthier one step at a time.  And I found that some of my readers are using the information that I have provided.  You do not understand how happy that makes me.  I will keep informing you and looking toward hearing from you.  Let's make the changes together next year.
Thanks again.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Why does the United States not care about what the people in this country eat?  Do they care that some of the foods in stores can be dangerous if eaten? Are they more worried about the money that the companies that produce these types of foods give them every year to let them do what they want?
Chloropropanols are a family of drugs commonly found in Asian food sauces like black bean, soy, and oyster sauce. There are two specific substances within this category that are known carcinogens and that are banned in Canada and the UK: 3-MCPD and 1, 3 DCP. They are not banned in the United States, although the FDA has recommended that foreign products containing these materials be banned from entering the U.S.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sodium nitrate and nitrite

This is information that everyone needs to read.  I know when I eat any form of meat that had been processed and preserved I feel terrible.  I know of other people that have the same reaction from it.  There are companies that do not use all of this stuff in their food.  It is nasty.

Sodium nitrate and nitrite are added to meats to stabilize them, give them their red color and provide that characteristic smoked flavor. They mix with the acid in your stomach to form nitrosamines, which are very strong cancer causing cells. They are especially present in fried bacon. Recently, food companies have been adding ascorbic acid and erythorbic acid to nitrate and nitrite treated meat to slow the formation of nitrosamines in the stomach which has significantly reduced the harm that these ingredients cause, but does not eliminate it completely. I always try to buy nitrite free lunch meat for my family when I can. Hot dogs are also filled with nitrites; without them, both bacon and hot dogs would be an ever appetizing shade of gray.
A new study published in the journal Circulation reveals that eating processed meat products significantly raises the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Previous research has linked processed meats to cancer as well.
 The new paper involved a meta-analysis of 20 different studies covering more than one million people from 10 different countries. The study found that eating just 2 ounces of processed meat each day resulted in the following:
• A 42 percent increase in the risk of heart disease.
• A 19 percent increase in the risk of diabetes.
 Interestingly, the analysis simultaneously found that eating non-processed meats was not linked to these increases in disease risk. The study authors concluded that it was the processed salt and chemical additives in the processed meat that caused increase risk of disease.
 What the study authors did not come right out and say is that sodium nitrite is a poison, yet it's added to virtually all processed meats as a "color fixer." It makes dead gray meat look fleshy red, in other words, and it's added to bacon, sausage, hot dogs, pepperoni and most other processed meats. It's listed right on the label under the "ingredients" section.
 I've been warning readers about sodium nitrite for seven years, and in that time, evidence has shown the chemical to cause:
• A 67% increase in pancreatic cancer
• A 74% higher risk of leukemia
• A 40% higher risk of diabetes
 The USDA actually tried to ban sodium nitrite from the food supply back in the 1970's, but it was overruled by the meat industry which knew that the chemical made meat look visually more appealing and therefore increased sales of processed meat products. Despite causing cancer, sodium nitrite has remained legal in the food supply to this day.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Aristolochic acid

Aristolochic acid is an ingredient used in “traditional medicines” or “dietary supplements” that is known to potentially cause irreversible and fatal kidney failure.

Based on new information, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers to immediately discontinue use of any botanical products containing aristolochic acid. These products may have been sold as "traditional medicines" or as ingredients in dietary supplements. Aristolochic acid is found primarily in the plant Aristolochia, but may also be present in other botanicals. Consumption of products containing aristolochic acid has been associated with permanent kidney damage, sometimes resulting in kidney failure that has required kidney dialysis or kidney transplantation. In addition, some patients have developed certain types of cancers, most often occurring in the urinary tract.

Previously, in May 2000, FDA alerted health care professionals and the dietary supplement industry of two patients in the United Kingdom who had experienced serious, permanent kidney damage following the use of botanical products containing aristolochic acid. These cases, along with the ones previously reported from Belgium and France, resulted in FDA imposing an import alert to detain botanical ingredients that are either labeled as "Aristolochia" or, for other reasons, are suspected to contain aristolochic acid. The ingredient will only be allowed to enter the U.S. when adequate testing shows that the suspect ingredients are free of aristolochic acid.

Recently, FDA has received reports of two patients in the U.S. who developed serious kidney disease associated with the use of botanical products that were shown by laboratory analysis to contain aristolochic acid. In addition, the agency analyzed a sample of 38 botanical products available in the U.S. that were labeled as containing aristolochia or other herbs that might contain aristolochic acid and found that 18 of these products contained aristolochic acid. Based on these analytical results, FDA has requested that the involved U.S. manufacturers or distributors initiate recalls of these products.

Due to the potential serious public health risk, the agency is now advising consumers to stop using any products that may likely contain aristolochic acid. This includes products with the words "Aristolochia," "Bragantia" or "Asarum" listed as ingredients on the label, or any of the products FDA has found to contain aristolochic acid (see list of the 18 products analyzed by FDA1). Consumers cannot be assured that products containing these ingredients are free of aristolochic acid unless they have been tested in a laboratory. To inquire about whether appropriate testing has been done, consumers may wish to contact the manufacturer or distributor of the product.

FDA advises consumers who have taken any of these products of concern to contact their health care provider immediately. Even if these products have not been used recently, consumers should still inform their health care provider about which product they took, so that an appropriate evaluation may be conducted.

Friday, December 16, 2011


BHA is a preservative used in cereals, potato chips and chewing gum to stop them from becoming rancid. It has been shown to cause cancer in mice, rats and hamsters. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services considers BHA to be a carcinogen and that it poses a reasonable risk to health. Despite this warning, the FDA still allows BHA to be used.
The United States Food and Drug Administration consider both BHA and BHT to be safe. Researchers estimate the typical intake of BHA has no dangerous effects, and it would take at least 125 times the usual amount to become toxic. BHT is also considered to be safe; however large amounts of BHT may have some interactions with hormonal birth control methods or steroid hormones, and may increase levels of liver enzymes. Currently the FDA allows food manufacturers to use BHT; however additional safety studies are suggested.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I was fire proof!

A friend sent me this today and I just had to share it, since I was hooked on Mountain Dew for years and years.
There’s Flame Retardant in Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew. The oh so sweet is it yellow? Is it green? Nectar of the geek gods and fuel for gamers has flame retardant in it. Yup. Mountain Dew, along with 10 percent of sodas in the US, contains brominated vegetable oil (BVO), a flame retardant chemical banned in Europe and Japan.

The flame retardant, BVO, is currently listed as an ingredient in various citrus soft drinks such as: Mountain Dew, Squirt, Fanta Orange, Sunkist Pineapple, Gatorade Thirst Quencher Orange, Powerade Strawberry Lemonade and Fresca Original Citrus.
But why and what for? According to the Environmental Health News, BVO contains "bromine atoms which weigh down the citrus flavoring so it mixes with sugar water" instead of floating to the top. Basically, BVO gives soda more consistent flavoring. That sounds good! But BVO is also added to polystyrene foam cushions in furniture and plastics in electronics because BVO can slow down the chemical reactions that cause a fire. Yuck. Is that what we want to be drinking?

So how the hell if BVO is banned in foods in Europe and Japan, does BVO still exist here? Well, back in 1977, the FDA set what they thought was a "safe" limit for BVO in sodas and soda companies have been allowed to use BVO ever since. Seriously! That's the only reason! Scientists believe that the data the FDA looked at in the 1970s is outdated (ya think?) and that BVO needs a closer look. The EHN says:

After a few extreme soda binges—not too far from what many gamers regularly consume—a few patients have needed medical attention for skin lesions, memory loss and nerve disorders, all symptoms of overexposure to bromine. Other studies suggest that BVO could be building up in human tissues, just like other brominated compounds such as flame retardants. In mouse studies, big doses caused reproductive and behavioral problems.