A list of carcinogen substances commonly found in food products

There is an eternal debate between researchers and food producers regarding the effects of food additives on the human body. What kills rats will kill us too, won’t it?

With the occasion of the World Cancer Day, five additives were selected to be presented that have been proven to cause cancer in rat experiments. Many organizations have stepped up against the use of these additives, but they are still used in foods meant for human consumption.

Aspartame, code E951 can be found in most zero calorie and sugar free products. To every research that tries to prove its harmlessness, there is one study according to which aspartame causes cancer. The organization called Center for Science in the Public Interest has been leading a fight against aspartame for many years. Their concern is understandable, as even obtaining permission to use this substance as a food additive took place under very controversial circumstances.

Propyl gallate, code E310 is added mostly to instant soup and bubble gum. It is generally combined with BHA as an antioxidant and a preserver. In rodents, a high Propyl gallate intake has been linked to pancreas cancer.

Potassium bromide, code KBrO3, E924 can be found in bread and flour. If mixed in flour, it will make the bread dough grow larger. In rats, it causes kidney cancer and cancerous mutations of the thyroid gland cells.

Artificial caramel color (E150b,c,d, the code E150a being caramel itself) can be found in soft and alcoholic drinks. In rats and mice it has been brought into connection with lung, liver and thyroid cancer and leukemia.

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), code E320 is found in vegetable oils, gum, potato chips and corn flakes. According to animal research performed in 2011 it is a potentially carcinogenic substance.

Carrageen, code E407 is added to ice cream, toothpaste, pudding, whipped cream and other kinds of creamed or jellied products. It is extracted from seaweed and it serves as a thickening agent. According to a study dating back to 1982 it is highly possible that this substance is a serious carcinogen.

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