Coloring agents (Red #40, Yellow #6, Yellow #5, and Blue #1)
Where you may be eating/drinking them: Cake mix, candy, soda and sports beverages
Why they're used: Changes food color
Why they're banned: Synthetic colors are illegal in the U.K. because of links to hyperactivity and inattention in children -- oh you know, and they’re derived from petroleum. Research also shows some dyes are used in much larger amounts than consumers are aware of. In the EU, coloring agents are legal with special labels (the U.S. doesn’t do that).
BHA and BHT
Where you may be eating/drinking them: Gum, cereal, vegetable oil, butter and beer
Why they're used: Makes food last longer
Why they're banned: Not only can you find these two preservatives in edibles, but also rubber products and packaging materials. Now that’s just gross. It’s banned in the U.K. and throughout Europe, thanks to research that shows it could be linked to cancer.
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Barbara Woolsey is a Berlin-based journalist who proudly evaded upchuck while writing this list. Follow her European adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.