Food Fight: 15 Foods Banned in Europe But Legal in the US

It’s no secret that Europe has stricter food regulations than the United States. But what foods are actually banned in Europe?

While it may seem surprising, many of the foods Americans consume on a regular basis—including artificial flavors and preservatives—are not permitted across the pond.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss why these foods are illegal in Europe, their potential health risks for consumers here in America, as well as healthier alternatives to eating these foods banned in Europe.

We’ll also provide some takeaways for those interested natural health solutions when considering their diet choices.

Read on to learn more about how certain ingredients can affect your wellbeing.

What Foods are Banned in Europe?

Europe has some of the strictest food regulations in the world. Many foods that are allowed in other countries, such as the United States, are banned or heavily restricted in Europe. These restrictions have been put into place to protect consumers from potential health risks associated with consuming certain ingredients and additives.

Ingredients and Additives

Trans Fats

One example of a food that is banned in Europe is artificial trans fats. Trans fats are created by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil, which makes it solid at room temperature and increases its shelf life.

In 2006, European Union (EU) member states agreed to ban partially hydrogenated oils due to their links with heart disease and stroke risk factors.

Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)

Another type of food banned in Europe is brominated vegetable oil (BVO). BVO is used as an emulsifier and stabilizer for citrus-flavored soft drinks like Mountain Dew and Gatorade, but it can also build up toxic levels within the body over time if consumed too often.

The EU considers BVO unsafe for human consumption due to its potential side effects on organ systems including the thyroid gland and reproductive organs.

Synthetic Dyes

In addition, many synthetic dyes commonly found in processed foods have been prohibited by European regulators due to their potentially harmful effects on children’s behavior when consumed regularly over long periods of time.

For instance, Tartrazine (Yellow 5), Allura Red AC (Red 40), Ponceau 4R (Red 4) and Sunset Yellow FCF (Yellow 6) are all examples of artificial colors that have been linked with hyperactivity among children.

These dyes were subsequently removed from products sold throughout Europe beginning in 2010 following a consumer safety review conducted by the EU Scientific Committee on Food Safety.

The 15 American Foods Banned In Europe


Classic junk food. Classic poison. High fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils are bad, but it’s the Yellow 5 that signed the death warrant on Twinkies. The EU requires warning labels on dyes but Austria, Finland, and Norway have banned this snack.

Stove Top Stuffing

This quick dinner (and Thanksgiving) staple is hiding some serious chemicals. A combination of beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) take Stove Top off the menu in Japan, the UK, and several European countries.


Taste the rainbow? More like taste the dye. Yellow 5 and yellow 6 are bad, but there’s another ingredient that led Norway and the EU to ban this colorful candy: Titanium dioxide. Heavy metal carcinogens, anyone?

Coffee Mate

Coffee creamer has to be fine, right? Wrong. It’s made of seed oils.

Hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils got Coffee Mate banned in Austria, Hungary, and several Scandinavian countries.

US Pork

Ever heard of ractopamine? It’s an animal feed additive. And it’s been linked to several major health issues in humans and animals.

Americans feed it to pigs to make them huge. US pork is banned in China, Russia, and the EU.

Ritz Crackers

Banned in Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, and Denmark… but what is so wrong with Ritz crackers?!

Hydrogenated cottonseed oil. The kicker? The FDA deemed these oils “not generally recognized as safe.

US Pre-Packaged Ground Beef

Remember pink slime?


It’s a beef by-product prepared with ammonia gas and used as a filler in ground beef. As a result, US beef is banned in the EU.

Swiss Rolls

These Little Debbies contain yellow 5 AND red 40. Which is strange, because they’re brown and white.

These dyes have a negative effect on activity and attention in children. Norway and Austria banned Rolls.

Maraschino Cherries

Those Shirley Temple toppers contain a big dose of red 40.

Red 40 has been linked to allergies, migraine, and mental disorders in children. These cherries are banned in Austria, France, Finland, Norway, and the UK.

Farmed Salmon

Farmed fish are raised in terrible conditions and fed a chemical cocktail of feed including methyl mercury, dioxins, and antibiotics. Austria and New Zealand have banned farmed salmon.

US Milk

rBGH, also known as rBST, is a man-made growth hormone fed to dairy cows to boost milk production. Developed by Monsanto in the early 90s, it’s terrible stuff. US milk is banned in Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the EU.

Mountain Dew

Banned in Japan and the EU, Dew used to contain Brominated Vegetable Oil. Consuming bromine has been linked to headaches, memory loss, skin issues, and more.

PepsiCo said they were removing it in 2014 but it took six years to finally do so.

US Chicken

US chicken is banned in the EU, and not just because it’s washed in chlorine. The EU smartly asks: why does it NEED to be washed in chlorine in the first place?

Froot Loops

Like to start the day with a big bowl of colorful cereal? Good thing you live in the US since France, Austria, Norway, and Finland have banned the dyes and chemicals that Froot Loops are full of.

US Corn

In the US, corn is commonly sprayed with atrazine. Atrazine is linked to birth defects and it’s banned in 44 countries.

In the US? The pesticide lobby insists that we spray 70 million pounds of it every year on our domestic corn.

And researchers found that atrazine “induces complete feminization and chemical castration in male African clawed frogs” so it’s a safe bet it’s not doing American males any favors.

Europe has implemented bans on certain foods to protect the health of its citizens and, even though I believe in freedom, I also believe in being safe and healthy.

Next, we will explore the health risks of consuming banned foods in Europe.

Main Takeaway: Europe has some of the strictest food regulations in the world, banning or heavily restricting artificial trans fats, brominated vegetable oil (BVO), and certain synthetic dyes due to potential health risks.

Health Risks of Consuming Banned Foods

Many of the foods that are banned in Europe have been linked to a variety of health risks.

For example, trans fats, which are found in many processed and fast foods, can increase levels of bad cholesterol and lead to heart disease.

Artificial food dyes have also been associated with hyperactivity in children and some forms of cancer.

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is another ingredient commonly used in processed foods that has been linked to obesity and diabetes due to its high sugar content.

Studies suggest that HFCS can cause an insulin spike when consumed, leading to increased fat storage around the midsection as well as other negative health effects such as fatigue and inflammation.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is often added to Chinese food dishes for flavor enhancement, has been linked to headaches, dizziness, nausea, chest pain, flushing sensations on the skin’s surface and even asthma attacks in some people who are sensitive or allergic to it.

Additionally MSG may be harmful for pregnant women since it could potentially affect fetal development if consumed during pregnancy.

Finally certain preservatives like BHA/BHT (butylated hydroxyanisole/hydroxytoluene) have also been connected with potential health issues such as cancer or endocrine disruption due their ability disrupt hormones within our bodies when ingested over long periods of time at high doses.

It is important to be aware of the potential health risks associated with consuming banned foods, as they may not have been subjected to the same safety regulations as other food products.

Next, let’s explore why these foods are legal in the US.

Main Takeaway: The key takeaway is that certain food additives, such as trans fats, artificial dyes, HFCS, MSG and BHABHT are banned in Europe due to their potential health risks. These include heart disease, obesity and diabetes, headaches and nausea as well as cancer and endocrine disruption.

The US food industry is a multi-billion dollar business, and it’s no surprise that companies have been lobbying for years to keep certain foods legal in the US.

Many of these foods are banned in Europe due to health risks, but remain available on store shelves here.

One example, as discussed earlier in this article, is brominated vegetable oil (BVO), which has been linked to thyroid problems and other health issues.

Despite being banned by the FDA since 1970, this ingredient remains legal here because of intense lobbying efforts from beverage companies who claim there isn’t enough evidence linking BVO to any long-term health effects.

With regard to artificial trans fats (ATF), in 2006, the FDA began requiring manufacturers to list ATFs on nutrition labels so consumers could make informed decisions about what they were eating.

However, products containing up to 0.5 grams per serving still don’t need a label listing them as ingredients — meaning you may be consuming more than you think.

While most European countries have completely banned ATFs from their food supply chain since 2003, they remain widely available here despite their known dangers

The FDA continues to allow these substances into our food supply without adequate testing or research into their potential side effects, while Europeans take a more cautious approach when introducing new ingredients into their diets until they are proven safe for consumption over time.

It is evident that our government agencies lack stringent regulations when it comes to approving certain chemicals or additives for use in our food system, even if those same substances are deemed unsafe elsewhere around the world.

You should always read labels carefully before purchasing items at the grocery store so you know exactly what you’re putting into your bodies each day.

Although the US has more lenient regulations on food safety, let’s explore some alternatives to these banned items so you can still enjoy a healthy diet without sacrificing your health.

Main Takeaway: The US food industry has been lobbying for years to keep certain foods legal despite being banned in Europe due to health risks. Consumers should be aware of what they are consuming by reading labels and doing research before buying items at the grocery store.

Alternatives to Banned Foods

Organic Produce

Organic produce is one way to avoid consuming potentially dangerous chemicals or additives found in many processed foods.

Organic fruits and vegetables are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers, which means they contain fewer toxins than conventionally-grown produce.

Additionally, organic produce is often fresher and more flavorful than conventional varieties since it does not have preservatives added to extend its shelf life.

Plant-Based Proteins

Plant-based proteins such as legumes, nuts, seeds, and grains are another great alternative to animal proteins that may contain hormones or antibiotics used during production processes.

Plant-based proteins offer an array of vitamins and minerals while also providing fiber that helps keep you feeling full longer after meals.

Plus, plant-based proteins tend to be lower in saturated fat than animal sources like beef (no pink slime!) or pork (no ractopamine!) so they can help reduce your risk for heart disease when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet.

Next, let’s look at some takeaways for consumers when it comes to food safety.

Main Takeaway: The European Union has banned a number of potentially dangerous foods, so it's important to be aware of the risks associated with them. Choose healthier alternatives such as organic produce and plant-based proteins for better nutrition without any negative side effects. Read labels carefully when shopping for food items to ensure you know exactly what ingredients are in your meals.

Takeaways for Consumers

It is important for all of us to be aware of these dangerous foods since they may contain ingredients and additives that can pose health risks.

Processed foods often contain preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, emulsifiers, and other chemicals that have been linked to an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, allergies and other chronic diseases.

Consumers should opt for whole foods whenever possible instead of processed or pre-packaged items.

Whole foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, unprocessed grains such as oats or quinoa, lean proteins like chicken breast or fish, legumes such as beans or lentils, nuts and seeds, dairy products from grass-fed cows, eggs from free-range chickens, natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup and healthy fats like olive oil or coconut oil.

When shopping for packaged goods it is important to read labels carefully.

Look out for hidden sources of sugar (such as high fructose corn syrup), trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils), sodium nitrates/nitrites (preservatives found in cured meats) MSG (a flavor enhancer found in many processed snacks) food dyes (artificial coloring agents).

If any of these ingredients are listed on the label it’s best to avoid them altogether if possible.

Finally, consider adding some natural remedies into your routine if you’re looking for a way to improve your overall health without relying solely on medications prescribed by doctors.

Herbal teas such as chamomile tea have calming effects while ginger tea helps reduce inflammation throughout the body – both great options if you want something soothing after a long day at work.

Additionally, probiotics can help balance gut bacteria levels which improves digestion while garlic has anti-bacterial properties which can help fight off infections naturally without having to resort to antibiotics every time you get sick.

Main Takeaway: Consumers should opt for whole foods and read labels carefully when shopping for packaged goods, looking out for hidden sources of sugar, trans fats, sodium nitrates/nitrites, MSG and food dyes. Additionally, natural remedies like herbal teas and probiotics can help improve overall health.

Foods Banned in Europe FAQs

What foods are not approved in Europe?

Foods not approved in Europe include trans fats, certain artificial sweeteners, food additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), and certain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Additionally, some food products containing palm oil are also restricted due to environmental concerns. Foods must meet specific safety standards set by the European Food Safety Authority before they can be sold on the market. In general, foods with high levels of sugar or salt content are discouraged from being consumed regularly.

What foods are banned in Europe and not us?

Europe has a number of food bans that are not in place in the United States. These include: trans fats, artificial colors and flavorings, growth hormones in beef, some genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and certain types of pesticides. In addition, Europe has stricter labeling requirements for foods containing GMOs than the US does. Furthermore, many European countries have banned or restricted the use of antibiotics in animal feed production to reduce antibiotic resistance. Finally, Europe also restricts the sale of products containing palm oil due to environmental concerns about its production methods.

Why are Doritos banned in Europe?

Doritos are banned in Europe due to the presence of certain food additives that are not approved for use by the European Food Safety Authority. These additives, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) and artificial colors, have been linked to health risks including headaches, asthma, and even cancer. The EU has strict regulations on what can be added to food products sold within its borders, so Doritos containing these ingredients cannot be legally sold there.

Are M&Ms banned in Europe?

No, M&Ms are not banned in Europe. The popular candy is widely available across the continent and can be found in stores, supermarkets, and online retailers. In some countries, such as Germany and Austria, there may be restrictions on certain ingredients used to make M&Ms but these do not constitute a ban on the product itself.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, it is important to be aware of the foods that are banned in Europe but legal in the United States.

These food banned in Europe can have serious health consequences if consumed regularly, including obesity and other chronic diseases.

While these foods may be more readily available here than abroad, there are alternatives that can provide similar nutritional benefits without the potential risks associated with consuming food banned in Europe.

By understanding what foods are prohibited and why they are not allowed on European shelves, you can make informed decisions about their diet and overall health.

It’s time to take control of our health and be informed about the food we consume.

Let’s explore natural remedies, nutrition, and fitness solutions that can help us make better decisions when it comes to what is on our plate.

We need to understand which foods are banned in Europe so that we can avoid potential risks associated with consuming these items. By staying up-to-date with research, The Wellness Watchdog will ensure you have access to the best information available!

4 thoughts on “Food Fight: 15 Foods Banned in Europe But Legal in the US”

  1. Your article is very informative and I plan to forward it to family and friends in the States! I live in France and know exactly what you saying.
    Our whole family are victims of a community that added FLOURIDE to the water supply which in a few years caused serious thyroid problems for us, our children and thousands of others. This was not revealed to the residents until it was already added to the water supply. No votes w were taken.
    Regarding milk BHT was added liberally and few realized the repercussions. We know the cows life span was cut in half because they produced twice the amount of milk.Costly regulations forced Vt farmers to turn to adding BHT to the cows diet.
    Today there are few farms that do not add this to their cows diet so the milk is essentially undrinkable!
    Here in France raw milk is easily attainable and sold in Super markets. I use it to make my own yogurt . Raw cheese is also an available from sheep and cows and incredibly delicious and extremely healthy. Organic vegetables are sold everywhere at affordable prices. as well as grass fed beef that is so pure it can be eaten raw. It is ground in front of you too.

  2. Governments fail to have independent research advisors (usefully employed in valid government studies) to avoid being scammed by private lobbying agents solely devoted to their sponsors’ market profits. In consequence, ordinary time-and-education-pressed citizens become the de facto guinea pigs. Of course, maintaining diligent expert staff on government payrolls is highly expensive against the profit motive incentives of treating sickened people with patentable pharmaceutical inventions. The USFDA can viewed as case that failed to maintain its originally sought independence with expertise personnel developing revolving-door career exchanges between government and profiteering enterprises. Mankind’s morality seems to need a whole species improvement to resolve such problems.


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