Do you remember the last time you ate one? People from certain European countries certainly don’t. Due to food dye and chemical laws in the EU, Twinkies will never see the grocery store shelves in countries such as Finland or Norway. Are they really missing out, though?
US Dairy Milk
American dairy cows are fed growth hormones (rBST or rBGH) to boost milk production, because a big population needs a whole lotta milk. But Japanese and Canadian food laws won’t accept milk containing these growth hormones, so anything containing American milk has got to go.
Little Debbie’s Swiss Rolls
These chocolatey treats are banned outright in Austria due to the very strict laws on the dyes Yellow 5 and Red 40 in the EU, due to their health risks. Whilst most European countries have just slapped on a warning label, it seems Austria is taking no chances with Little Debbie.
What’s a coffee without creamer? Unfortunately, the reality for most European countries. Hydrogenated soybean products have mostly been banned across the EU, but in Iceland and Denmark, you won’t find a single bottle of this stuff on their shelves, mainly due to its high levels of trans fats.
Farm raised salmon
Wait, salmon is healthy though, right? Well, to get that popular coral color, the salmon is fed Astaxanthin. This chemical is outright banned in both Australia and New Zealand for consumption, due to a lack of research on the compound’s possible side effects. Maybe we should stick to the organic stuff instead.
Banned in at least three European countries, this rainbow-colored cereal contains certain oils, such as cottonseed oil – which contains high levels of saturated fat. Amongst numerous other processed oils, these ingredients are often banned or considered not safe to eat outside of the States.
Used to make a cocktail look extra fancy, these bright red cherries are unfortunately banned because of how they get their color. Red 40 food additives are banned in most European countries due to the negative effects associated with consumption, ranging from hyperactivity in children to skin irritation.
Supposed to be a light diet snack, these crackers are outright banned in the UK. Why? Low-fat products often contain a chemical called butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). This chemical has been connected to abdominal issues as well as digestive issues, showing that low fat isn’t always the healthiest choice.
It’s unlikely that any of us thought that this neon green beverage was full of nutrients anyway. Mountain Dew contains BVO (brominated vegetable oil), which – due to it containing the harmful chemical bromine – has resulted in the drink being banned in parts of Europe, with a complete ban in Japan.
Again, those pesky Red 40 and Yellow 5 and 6 chemicals make an appearance. Due to the colorful and sugary nature of this candy, these potentially harmful food chemicals are outright banned in both Austria and Norway, and heavily limited in the rest of Europe.
Sun Drop contains brominated vegetable oils (BVO) – a compound that can irritate the skin, the nose, the mouth, and the stomach. Due to health concerns over the array of possible irritations stemming from the high levels of bromine, Sun Drop is banned in Japan, India, and the European Union.
Honey Bunches of Oats
This sweet breakfast cereal will never reach the lips of people living in Japan or the EU, due to a categoric ban of butylated hydroxytoluene. BHTs are used to enhance the shelf life of the product, alongside making the cereal taste deliciously sweet. Due to inconclusive concerns over their potential carcinogenic effects, this product is rarely found overseas.
Jimmy Dean Delights
Imagine a world without Jimmy Dean Delight’s delicious sandwiches. For many people living in Europe, that dream is a day-to-day reality – and for good reason! These products contain a whitening agent called azodicarbonamide (ADA) – a compound that can also be found on the bottom of your shoes or on your yoga mat.
Hungry Jack’s mashed potatoes
Hungry Jack’s mashed potatoes are a quick and easy way to whip a delicious meal in no time at all. Unfortunately for UK residents, they have to make it the old-fashioned way. Hungry Jack’s instant potatoes contain a preservative that is thought to be linked to carcinogenic effects, leading to a flat-out ban in British and Japanese markets.
US pork is banned in 160 countries, including many European locations, China, Taiwan, and Russia. The ban is due to American pork being pumped full of ractopamine, reducing its overall fat content. While at first glance this may seem like a good thing, the compound has been linked with causing numerous heart problems.
Stove Top stuffing mix
This Kraft product is popular across the US due to its ease and convenience. However, it contains BHA and BHT preservatives, which are suspected as being carcinogenic and impairing necessary blood clotting. Due to these concerns, this product is banned in the UK, Japan, and numerous European countries.
It may be America’s favorite since 1928, but across the globe it’s an entirely different story. The popular frozen dessert uses carrageenan for its texture, a compound that’s derived from seaweed. Carrageenan can upset the human digestive system, leading to bans around the world. In the UK, however, the compound is only banned in baby foods.
Although this popular thirst-quenching drink can effectively replenish electrolytes, Gatorade also contains numerous problematic food dyes – namely Yellow 5 and Yellow 6. In the European Union, these artificial colors are banned from use in children’s products, otherwise requiring a warning label. In Norway and Austria, however, they’re banned entirely.
Farmer John Pork Breakfast Sausage Links
These succulent sausages feature the flavor enhancer BHT, a compound that’s strictly banned in territories such as Japan and areas within the European Union. The flavor enhancer is suspected to be a carcinogen, resulting in food officials taking no risks when it comes to the popular – but potentially deadly – product.
Lucky Charms are known to cause itching and hives for some people, but are still somehow allowed on US markets. In the EU, Lucky Charms can only be sold if they also display a warning label, due to the additives Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40. This sweet cereal is also completely banned in Austria and Norway.
Not all US bread is banned overseas – just the products that contain potassium bromate. The compound is used to bring a higher rise to the dough and to lower the overall baking time, but the chemical has been linked to cancer, nervous system damage, and kidney damage. Potassium bromate is banned in the UK, Peru, Canada, and several other countries.
Tostitos Salsa Con Queso Dip
If you think the bright color of this salsa comes from the real cheese it’s made from, you’d be mistaken. The neon yellow shade actually derives from the food dyes Yellow 5 and Yellow 6, requiring warning labels across Europe. In Norway and Austria specifically, these artificial colorings are banned entirely.
Ritz crackers are deliciously moreish, but many overseas foodies will never experience their crunchy twang. They’re banned in many European countries due to the product containing partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil – creating high levels of trans fats. Surprisingly, Ritz crackers are still available for purchase in the United Kingdom.
This grapefruit-flavored drink uses a flame-retardant bromine to prevent the separation of its ingredients, in order to retain its bold color. Bromine is banned in Europe. Even on US soil the drink had to undergo changes in 1969 due to the product containing cyclamates – a sweetener banned by the FDA.
Despite seeming like a healthy lunchtime snack, many Hawaiin papayas are banned by the European Union. This is because they’re genetically engineered, in order to help prevent against viruses. However, their altered genetics are linked to being potential causes of tumors, birth defects, organ damage, intestinal damage, and even premature death!
Having freshly baked bread within minutes is an enviable feat. However, these breads are banned due to their high content of hydrogenated oils, which are known to cause heart disease. While some are willing to risk it for a biscuit, it’s probably best that these health-endangering products are left on the shelf.
Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix
Betty Crocker’s dessert mix boasts convenience – but it comes with a high cost. Despite being marketed with an innocent-looking, near enough iconic brand image, the mix is banned in Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, and Denmark due to its high trans fat content. The US is in the process of banning these compounds too, but Europe has been banning Crocker’s treats for many years already.
Pillsbury Pie Crust
Due to its high levels of BHT and BHA, Pillsbury Pie Crust is banned in an array of countries, namely the United Kingdom, Japan, and in many parts of Europe. With concerns rising about BHT being carcinogenic, these food markets aren’t taking any risks when it comes to the health of their citizens.
It’s illegal to sell raspberry Jell-O in Norway and Austria, due to its Red 40 content. The Red 40 dye contains levels of petroleum, with many health officials fearing that the compound has adverse effects on human health. Not only is raspberry Jell-O banned in the aforementioned countries, it’s also heavily restricted across Europe.
The chicken that’s consumed in the US is a little different than the that’s chicken eaten in the rest of the world. In the States, chicken is washed in chlorine, killing off any harmful bacteria and preventing diseases. The European Union has banned this method, however, as it can result in unsanitary farming practices.
Arby’s French toast sticks
While you may feel sorry for those who will never get to try Arby’s French toast sticks – you may want to withhold your sympathy. This fast food snack is banned due to concerns over azodicarbonamide, a chemical used to whiten food products. Concerns are rising across the US over this potential carcinogen, but the EU has already completely banned the chemical.
Along with many other cereals, Rice Krispies are banned due to the BHT preservative, with concerns being raised about the chemical causing cancer. In fact, concerns run so high about the content of Rice Krispies, they’re banned in nearly 30 countries, including Japan and EU territories! Will the US be next?
Kraft Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese is enjoyed across the world – it’s just the Kraft brand that’s banned. The main concern over this product is in its food dye. The cheesy coloring coming from dyes Yellow 5 and 6. These dyes are banned in Austria and Norway, due to them causing hyperactivity in children, increased cancer risk, and allergic reactions. Stick with homemade!
American ground beef is different than mince found in other parts of the world. That’s because beef found in the US is pumped full of pink slime, an additive that lowers its overall fat content, being exposed to citric acid. This process isn’t regulated enough for it to be sold in foreign markets, resulting in a ban in Canada and the European Union.
M&Ms are banned in many European Union territories due to the high amount of artificial coloring used to coat the crunchy treat. However, Europe has its own variation of M&Ms that are available for purchase – just without the blue candies. Furthermore, M&Ms are fully banned in Sweden due to the packaging resembling the Swedish chocolate Marabou.
Rice that’s produced in America is known to contain high levels of arsenic, a ground metal that’s easily absorbed by plants. Due to high levels of pesticides, the arsenic epidemic is only getting worse. Arsenic is a known carcinogen, impacting children’s brain development. Because of this, Europe has since banned all US rice imports. Scary stuff!
Europe isn’t taking any chances on apples grown in America, recently banning all imports. This is because American apples use a mixture of chemicals to make them appear shiny and juicy, with food officials fearing that these chemicals have an adverse effect on health. Who knew that such a healthy snack could pose such a risk?
Don’t fret – chocolate milk is still available to buy outside of America. It’s just that a lot of chocolate milk that’s produced on American soil contain carrageenan, a seaweed that is known to inflammation, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and heart disease. Tests on mice discovered that it can also cause the development of glucose intolerance, resulting in a swift ban by the EU.
All Trumps flour
All Trumps flour is banned across Europe due to the additives within, namely bromate. Bromate is known to affect the lungs and the nervous system, and has even been reported to induce personality changes. Instead, there are many bromate-free options on the market in European countries. All Trumps even offer their own unbromated mix to counter these strict laws.
Beyond Meatballs are a great option for vegetarians that wish to still eat foods that resemble meat. However, vegetarians in France are out of luck. The country became the first to introduce a ban on veggie foods that include words such as “burger”, “meatballs”, and “sausages” in an attempt to prevent consumer confusion.
If you ever try Fanta overseas, you’ll notice that it looks and tastes completely different. In America, the soft drink is packed full of sugar, additives, and dyes – resulting in a ban on the product in other parts of the world. The content of Fanta differs across the entirety of Europe, with most countries having varied sugar levels.
It’s illegal to sell or import chewing gum in Singapore, with the product being illegal since 1992. This ban isn’t American-specific, but for any chewing gum from any part of the world – with the goal to keep the country’s streets clean. Exceptions are made only for medical gums.
Some of America’s favorite fat-free chips are banned in the UK and Canada. You’d think a lower fat content would be a good thing, but according to certain food boards, they can actually be more harmful to your health. Olestra is a fat substitute found in many popular chip brands, but the compound can rob your body of nutrients and lead to stomach issues.
Certain french fries
McDonald’s delicious fries are made differently depending on where you are in the world. In the UK, they’re simply made with potatoes, oil, dextrose, and salt. In the US, the fries contain natural beef flavoring, sodium acid pyrophosphate, and are fried in oil laced with the anti-foaming agent dimethylpolysiloxane – hence the overseas ban.
While Frosted Flakes may be a great breakfast item in the States, you’ll be hard-pressed to find it overseas. This is mainly due to butylated hydroxytoluene – a flavor enhancer that’s banned due to inconclusive evidence over carcinogenic fears. You won’t find Frosted Flakes in Japan or many parts of Europe.
The FDA is notoriously lax with its regulations compared to other parts of the world. That’s why Sunkist is mainly found on American shelves, with strict regulations on the product across Europe and a complete ban in Norway and Austria. The ban is due to the hefty slew of artificial colors that give Sunkist its luminous orange tinge.
It may sound strange, but a lot of American pastry doughs contain ingredients that also appear in other non-consumable goods, including pesticides and hair straighteners. Needless to say, many countries have outlawed American pastry dough imports from reaching their shores, instead choosing to use more natural ingredients.
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
While this particular type of corn syrup isn’t outright banned in any country, it did have a production cap on it in the EU up until 2017. The cap was in place due to fears surrounding HFCS’s health impacts, with concerns surrounding gut health and obesity.
Propylparaben is the pesky ingredient that prevents American tortillas from being sold overseas over fears that the chemical disrupts hormone signaling, which can lead to reproductive and developmental issues. The FDA has classified the compound as being “generally regarded as safe” in the US, which is hardly encouraging.
Turkey is a Thanksgiving staple, enjoyed by millions of Americans every year. However, the turkeys found in other countries may taste and look different from what you’re used to. This is because the FDA allows poultry to be washed with an array of harmful chemicals, including peroxyacetic acid, chlorine dioxide, acidified sodium chlorite, and trisodium phosphate.
Who doesn’t love a well-earned cookie after a long day? As tasty as they may be, they may be even worse for your health than you think – with the FDA reporting that they even found traces of uranium within the sweet treat. EU regulations have put strict regulations on cookies that contain potassium bromate, meaning you’ll be hard-pressed to find similar treats across the continent.
Once again, the potassium bromate found within pizza dough means that pizzas found overseas may taste slightly different from what you’re used to. While American pizzas may be deliciously tasty, delightfully fluffy, and chocked full of moreish toppings, health concerns over the dough used stretches across the globe.
Of course, you can find ketchup in countries outside of the States. However, what lingers inside differs significantly. To retain its shiny, crimson hue, numerous dyes are added to American sauces – dyes that are outright banned in Austria and Norway. Instead of banning the product entirely, ketchup made elsewhere across the globe simply use different (and safer) products.
Even the US outlawed some of their own herbs and spices, over fears surrounding benzene. The compound is thought to have harmful effects on bone marrow, and also leads to a decrease in red blood cells. It’s because of this that many spices had had to undergo a transformation in how they were made.
A bakery in Leeds, England, was ordered by Trading Standards to stop decorating their cakes with illegal decorations imported from the US. The rumour (or clever marketing ploy!) is that one disgruntled customer reported the bakery, suspecting that they were using banned sweet treats. It turned out the cake decorations were comprised of E127, a compound that leads to hyperactivity in children.
American Quaker Oats don’t meet the high standards of Europe’s food regulations. Due to this, the Quaker Oats you’ll pick up in the UK and in most European countries contain far fewer additives than their American counterparts. There’s still an ongoing controversy surrounding the oats in the US due to glyphosate chemicals being used upon harvest. Who knows if they’ll change again?!
Cheetos are a well-loved brand in the US, so it may surprise you to find that you can’t purchase the chips in many foreign territories. Cheetos have been banned in Germany since 1980 over brand name disputes. Even if the name suddenly got the all-clear, the high levels of acrylamide within the snack result in strict regulations across the EU.
Artificial blueberry flavoring
Artificial blueberries may look pretty, giving foods a striking azure glow, but they’re exceedingly bad for your health. These artificial flavorings contain petroleum, also found in gasoline, diesel, asphalt, and tar. Because of the health implications, these fake flavorings are banned in Norway, Finland, Austria, France, and the UK.
A big concern surrounding the additives within various salad dressings is the possibility that they contain titanium dioxide, which can cause harmful DNA changes. People in Europe don’t have to worry about such things, however, due to their stricter food regulations – using different, less harmful ingredients.
Traces of genetically modified soy were found on the shores of Europe, where the regulators state that non-approved types, even in small amounts, are not allowed to be sold until they have assessed the safety of that product. This is in regard to concerns for both human health and the environment – better safe than sorry!