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FDA Bans Use of 7 Synthetic Food Additives After Environmental Groups Sue

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Seven artificial flavors designed to trick your taste buds into believing you’re eating the real thing, for example, mint and cinnamon, have been banned as food additives, NPR reports. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took the action in response to a petition by environmental groups that pointed out the chemicals are linked to cancer in animals. The synthetic compounds are used to flavor ice cream, beer, chewing gum and baked goods.

If you weren’t aware that you were eating chemicals along with those snacks you grab off the grocery shelf, it may be time to listen up, because as the featured article noted, you won’t know it by reading the labels. This is because the FDA doesn’t require manufacturers to list them by name; instead, they’re lumped into the category, “artificial” or “natural” flavors.

The flavors are added to make nutritionally-deficient, processed foods taste and smell so good you think you’re eating something wholesome. In other words, they’re there simply to deceive you and hook you into wanting more. The downside of these taste-good concoctions is that you are unknowingly consuming loads of calorie-dense, carb-laden products that can play havoc on your health.

The science behind this flavor technology is that, ultimately, manufacturers not only can easily mask the flavor of inferior-quality ingredients, but impose a flavor that has no business being there — making foods taste like something that they are not, and literally imbuing nutritionally empty foods with the "sheen" of nutrition.

This is important for processed foods manufacturers because, as modern agricultural methods have taken a toll on soil health, food has gotten increasingly bland, as the natural flavor and aroma of food is actually tied to its nutrient content. In other words, flavor is a marker for the nutritional density of the food.

As such, using flavored chemicals, manufacturers can ignore the root cause of tasteless foods and instead produce something that has virtually no nutritional value, or even negative nutritional value, yet fool you into thinking you're eating something wholesome.

Another thing is, of the 10,000 food additives on the market, at least 95 percent of them have never been tested for safety when consumed in isolation, let alone been tested for synergistic toxicity that can occur when you combine several of them together.

The worst part is, if you read food labels, you've likely seen the inclusion of "natural flavors." If this has led you to believe they were different from and healthier than artificial flavors, you've been soundly deceived. Originally, "natural flavors" referred to things like spices and spice extracts — flavors obtained through natural means. This changed when consumers began rejecting foods containing "artificial flavors," and manufacturers changed the word “artificial” to “natural.”

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