I'm about to say a dirty word for some Texans, so brace yourself: California recently made the right move to ban five potentially dangerous foods from store shelves. And before you assume that it's an act of pearl-clutching liberalism, let's take a look at these ingredients and how dangerous they can be.

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The California Food Safety Act was passed late last year, banning four food additives. A fifth food additive was dropped from the orginal bill. We will look at each ingredient, its use, and how it can harm your health.

But first: remember you are your own best advocate. You can be on the lookout for these ingredients and choose not to purchase them if you want to protect yourself or your family from potentially adverse effects.

BANNED IN CA: Brominated vegetable oil

Found in some fruit-flavored drinks, energy drinks, fruit-flavored syrups, and baked goods. It's used to keep, "flavorings from separating and floating to the top of the beverage."

What's the problem? According to Consumer Reports:

Peer-reviewed studies conducted on rodents have linked brominated vegetable oil (BVO) to neurological problems; thyroid, heart and liver problems; and behavioral, developmental, and reproductive issues. 

BANNED IN CA: Potassium bromate

Found in baked goods and some frozen foods. Used to cause dough to rise higher, strengthen dough and enhance dough texture.

What's the problem? It may increase a person's risk of developing cancer.

BANNED IN CA: Propyl paraben

Found In packaged foods like tortillas, baked goods, and cake icing. It is a preservative that extends shelf life.

What's the problem? It has been shown, "to cause endocrine disruption and reproductive issues in lab animal testing," according to Consumer Reports.

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BANNED IN CA: Red Dye 40 a.k.a erythrosine

Found in red-colored foods. Many U.S. snack foods and drinks contain it.

What's the problem? It has been linked to thyroid tumors in lab animals and hyperactivity in human children. Some people also experience a skin allergy to it nd it has been linked to bladder cancer. Weirdly, it's been banned in cosmetics for decades but is still allowed in our food.

NOT BANNED IN CA YET: Titanium dioxide

Found in: creamer, sauces, chocolate, candy. It's used to make foods look whiter, or as a primer to make other colorings look brighter.

What's the problem? Its been linked to digestive problems and is banned in Europe because it may damage genetic material. Yikes.

But don't we need these ingredients to have the food we love?

Not really. Many of these ingredients have been banned in Europe for a long time. That's why Italian Fanta is made with real orange juice, whereas U.S. Fanta is made with artificial dyes and colors. I know which one I would prefer.

Think Texas should follow California on this one particular issue? Head to Texas.gov to find your representative and let them know how you feel.

 

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