#childsafety | Why Are Some Food Additives That Are Banned In Europe Still Used in the U.S.?

It might surprise you to learn that certain food additives found in bread, baked goods, and candy on grocery store shelves in the United States aren’t allowed in Europe. Likewise, European Union regulations prohibit the use of different drugs and hormones given to farm animals to promote growth or increase milk production that are permitted in the United States.

How can a food additive be considered a cancer risk on one continent yet safe on another? Keep reading to find out how the United States’ approach to food safety influences the ingredients in your food, and what you need to know about additives that are prohibited in Europe but still deemed safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

When It Comes to Additives, U.S. Regulators Focus on Probability, EU Considers Possibilities

Europe takes a more precautionary approach to evaluating chemicals and additives compared to the United States, says Justin J. Kastner, PhD, associate professor in the department of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at Kansas State University in Manhattan.

“One key difference is that historically the United States has been more insistent in focusing on the probability or likelihood of hazards or bad things occurring, and the European Union approach has been more precautionary; they give attention to not just probabilities of something going wrong, but also the mere possibility,” says Dr. Kastner. That has resulted in the EU banning more additives than the United States, he adds.

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