Greetings Meta-Center Family,
As you reach for that pastry or slice of bread, beware of the hidden danger: potassium bromate. This potential human carcinogen is found in the flour of numerous packaged baked goods, yet many consumers are unaware of its presence.
This chemical, which strengthens dough and enhances its rising capabilities, is embraced by numerous US companies despite its well-documented health risks. In fact, potassium bromate has been banned in several countries, such as Brazil, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, due to these concerns.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has identified over 130 products containing potassium bromate, including but not limited to Best Choice Wheat Sliced Bread, Gomez Flour Tortillas, Hy Vee Blueberry Crisp, and Balducci’s Sugar Cookies. Astonishingly, its use remains legal in the US.
Back in 1999, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified potassium bromate as a possible human carcinogen based on multiple studies. Lab tests revealed that animals exposed to this chemical developed benign and malignant tumors in the thyroid and peritoneum (the abdominal cavity lining). Further research demonstrated that ingesting potassium bromate led to significant increases in cancer in the animals’ thyroid, kidneys, and other organs.
Despite the evidence, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not reviewed potassium bromate since at least 1973. The food industry insists that the chemical poses no threat in baked products, as it should convert to non-carcinogenic potassium bromide during the baking process. However, UK tests found detectable levels of potassium bromate in both unwrapped and packaged breads after baking.
California has taken the initiative to warn residents about the risks associated with potassium bromate. Since 1990, the state has required products containing the additive to carry a cancer warning. However, no other regulatory agency has taken action to regulate or remove potassium bromate from grocery store shelves.
The current US food additive review system is failing to protect Americans from potentially cancer-causing chemicals like potassium bromate. To address this issue, Congress is considering the Food Chemical Reassessment Act of 2021, introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). If enacted, this bill would establish an Office of Food Safety Assessment within the FDA to confirm the safety of chemicals that entered the food supply chain through legal loopholes or were reviewed by the FDA decades ago. Potassium bromate is among the ten chemicals prioritized for immediate reassessment.
In the meantime, consumers can protect themselves by checking food labels and avoiding products containing potassium bromate. The EWG’s Food Scores database also offers alternatives free of this harmful chemical. Stay vigilant, and safeguard your health by making informed choices about the food you consume.
What other chemicals should we be concerned about?
- Azodicarbonamide (ADA): Used as a dough conditioner and bleaching agent in bread, pastries, and other baked goods. Banned in the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Australia due to its potential carcinogenic breakdown products, such as semicarbazide and urethane.
- Possible alternative: Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) can be used as a dough conditioner.
- Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA): Used as a preservative in foods like chips, cereals, and preserved meats. Banned in the European Union and Japan due to potential carcinogenic properties.
- Possible alternative: Vitamin E (tocopherols) can be used as a natural antioxidant preservative.
- Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT): Commonly used as a preservative in foods like cereals, chewing gum, and vegetable oils. Banned in the European Union and Japan due to potential health risks, including cancer.
- Possible alternative: Rosemary extract can be used as a natural antioxidant preservative.
- Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH): Injected into cows to increase milk production, it is present in dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. Banned in Canada, the European Union, Australia, and New Zealand due to concerns about animal welfare and potential risks to human health, including cancer.
- Possible alternative: Use milk from cows not treated with rBGH.
- Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO): Used as an emulsifier in citrus-flavored soft drinks. Banned in the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Japan due to concerns about its potential to cause organ damage and cancer.
- Possible alternative: Hydrocolloids like gum arabic or ester gum can be used as emulsifiers.
- Propylparaben: Used as a preservative in food products like baked goods, beverages, and dairy products. Banned in the European Union due to potential endocrine-disrupting properties and links to breast cancer.
- Possible alternative: Natural preservatives like cultured dextrose or potassium sorbate can be used.
- Sodium Nitrate and Sodium Nitrite: Used as preservatives and color enhancers in processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, and sausages. Banned in several European countries due to concerns about their potential to form carcinogenic nitrosamines in the body.
- Possible alternative: Celery powder, which contains natural nitrates, can be used as a safer alternative.
Herbs that could possible detox these chemicals and strengthen the body:
- Milk thistle (Silybum marianum): Rich in silymarin, milk thistle is believed to support liver function and detoxification. PURCHASE HERE
- Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale): Often used as a natural detoxifier, dandelion root is thought to promote liver health and stimulate bile production. PURCHASE HERE
- Turmeric (Curcuma longa): Contains curcumin, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that may support liver function and help protect the body from harmful substances.PURCHASE HERE
- Green tea (Camellia sinensis): Rich in antioxidants called catechins, green tea may help neutralize free radicals and support the body’s detoxification processes.
- Garlic (Allium sativum): Contains allicin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and may help the liver eliminate toxins and protect against cell damage.
- Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum): Believed to help remove heavy metals and other toxins from the body, cilantro may support detoxification processes.
- Burdock root (Arctium lappa): Traditionally used to cleanse the blood and support liver function, burdock root may help the body eliminate toxins.PURCHASE HERE
- Ginger (Zingiber officinale): With antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, ginger may help protect cells from damage and support the immune system.
- Artichoke (Cynara scolymus): Contains compounds like cynarin and silymarin, which may support liver function and help with detoxification.
- Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis): A traditional Chinese herb, schisandra is believed to support liver health and protect against oxidative stress.
Our goal is to provide you with valuable information to help you make informed decisions about your health and well-being. We hope that the insights shared in this discussion, including the potential dangers of certain food additives, the herbs that may support detoxification, and the importance of a balanced diet, will guide you towards healthier choices.
If you have any questions or need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help and support you on your journey to better health and wellness internally and externally.