courtesy of reverser's page of reverse engineering
15 June 1998
Dangerous food additives (reversing labels)
(version 0.1 ~ in fieri)
Well well well... what d'you eat actually?
I'll tell you. In this society, whose only aim is profit, you are probably eating
foods that may kill you. No, I'm not speaking of the
most evident problems, like the 'mad cow' disease (more profit for the nice master
if he does not
kill or denounce his ill animals)
And, no, I'm not speaking of the hormones
either, commonly used both
in the States (legally) and in the European Union (illegally) to mast cows, pigs,
whatever can be thus made to grow (and produce profits) more quickly.
And, er no, I'm not speaking of the pesticides residuates in many food products either (since
the nice peasants want to make a little profit too, don't they... and, man, there are
so many cheap pesticides on the markt!).
And -see- I'm not
sepaking about the dangerous lurking future either, with nice big
pigs with more ribs and legs than nature cared and six legged genetic engineered
chickens that eat cloned fat blue worms before being roasted for your kids (I'm afraid that
we'll have to genetically reverse engineer our food :-)... (btw... allergenicity of foods produced by genetic modification
has been already scientifically proved, see Critical reviews in food science and nutriton
Vol. 36, Supplement, 1996)
No, gentle readers, I'm speaking today
of LEGALLY AUTHORIZED killer agents. I'm speaking of dangers that you can SEE and AVOID, if you
just reverse (and study) a little the world around you.
Food labelling has always been object of fierce struggles between regulators (that at times wish
to limit, at least
a little, the 'licence to kill' of the big food processing corporations) and
the food producers and resellers, that want -obviously- just to make profit, if necessary
over the dead bodies of their own customers.
Reading the European Union's directives on food labelling, it is pretty easy to
see how much any proposed increase in 'transparence' on food labels annoys
the 'market forces' and the 'experts
of the concerned sectors': these pigs don't WANT you to know what's inside their products...
since -to make just an example- if you really knew what's inside -say- the
'Jucca' cheese (produced by Kraft) you wouldn't dream to touch such a garbage with a
badger pole, 'geschweige denn' to buy it.
In fact the 'market forces' are annoyed by the food labels themselves: I remember that when
the 'end date' on food products became compulsory in Europe they tried to
avoid this and had success in delaying the introduction of the compulsory 'end date'
labelling for years.
Nota bene that this same compulsory labelled "End date"
which is calculated BY THE PRODUCERS for obvious commercial reasons at the very limit of deperibility
eufemistically called 'best before' in many (stupid) States... as if the producers had
any interest in leaving you graciously some more days 'allowance'
instead of putting as 'end date' the (already
thin stretched) maximal time duration before their product begins to make worms or worse.
Here a list of food additives allowed by the European Union (which has
among the BEST standards on the planet, you can imagine what for additives
you'll find in -say- Kuala Lumpur or Ulan Bator :-(
Some of these additivies are QUITE DANGEROUS for ANYBODY.
Others are QUITE dangerous for kids. (In which case I would say you better
stop eating them as well)
Others are QUITE dangerous for anaphylactic (allergic) people.
Others are moderately dangerous, once more, for everybody, for kids and for
Others cause adverse reactions: urticaria, angioedema, asthma.
Well, here's the list... next time pay a little more attention at those little
"E 114" warnings on the labels...
The laws in the European Union:
- Colours: European Parliament and Council Directive of 30 June 1994 on colours for use in foodstuffs (94/36/EC)
- Sweeteners: European Parliament and Council Directive of 30 June 1994 on sweeteners for use in foodstuffs (94/35/EC)
- Food additives other than colours and sweeteners: European Parliament and Council Directive of 20 February 1995 on food additives other than colours and sweeteners (95/2/EC)
There have not been many studies in the area of
additives and allergy (and it is easy to guess why, in our awful
society where only the interests and whims of the big corporations
are supinely and routinely served and the interests of consumers
are almost NEVER defended, since consumer should -as their name implies-
"consume" and else shut up :-(
much of the evidence for specific links between substance and reaction is anecdotal. Those
additives that have most often attracted the attention of the few investigators in this field
can be grouped into about
seven substances or families of substances: dyes, parabens and benzoates, BHA and BHT,
nitrates, aspartame, MSG (monosodium glutamate) and finally, sulfites. This DOES NOT mean, of
course, that the remaining additives are safe. I repeat: There have been only few
studies in the area of
additives and allergy
- - Sunset Yellow (E110) - a synthetic colourant, which can
provoke allergic reactions and hyperactivity; and increased incidence of
tumours in animals; banned in Norway.
- - Amaranth (E123) - a synthetic colourant, which can provoke
asthma, eczema and hyperactivity; it caused birth defects and foetal
deaths in some animal tests, possibly also cancer; banned in the USA,
Russia and at least 5 other countries.
- - Sodium Nitrite (E250) and Potassium Nitrate (E252) -
preservatives and colour fixatives, which may provoke hyperactivity and
other adverse reactions; potentially carcinogenic; their use is severely
restricted in many countries. Nitrates and nitrites
are preservatives that also add colour and flavour, and are common
in preserved meats such as salami.
- - Butylated hydroxanisole BHA (E320) & Butylated hydroxytoluene
BHT (E321) - synthetic antioxidants, which may
trigger hyperactivity and other intolerances; serious concerns over
carcinogenicity; BHA is banned in Japan; in 1958 & 1963 official
committees of experts recommended that BHT be ban ned in the UK, however
due to industry pressure it was not banned; McDonald's eliminated BHT from
their US products by 1986. Butylated hydroxanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene
(BHT) are antioxidants that
appear in many grain and cereal products.
BHA and BHT are known culprits in
cases of urticaria.
- - Carrageenan (E407) - stabiliser and thickening agent; linked
to toxic hazards, including ulcers and cancer; the most serious concerns
relate to degraded carrageenan, which is not a permitted additive.
However, native carrageenan, which is us ed, may become degraded in the
- - Monosodium Glutamate (E621) - "flavour enhancer" - Is an aminoacid
commonly used as a flavouring. While it appears naturally in some foods like
Camembert cheese, it's used mainly as an additive, particularly in Chinese
and Japanese food. A single bowl of Wonton soup can contain 2.5 grams of MSG.
It's also one of the "secret herbs and spices" in Kentucky Fried Chicken.
cause intolerant reactions and effect chemistry of the brain.
MSG is responsible for an allergic reaction known as Chinese restaurant syndrome
(CRS), characterized by headache, nausea, chest tightness, sweating and a burning sensation
along the back of the neck. Some researchers writes that these
symptoms affect "only" "MSG-sensitive" individuals who eat free
MSG (usually added in the restaurant as a condiment) on an empty stomach. you may want to
apply some easy reversing to such assertions :-)
MSG has also been
blamed in a case of angioedema.
- - Potassium Bromate (E924) - used as flour improver, banned in
1989 as a dangerous carcinogen; previously widely used in bread products,
including McDonald's buns.
- -Aspartame (E951) - (NutraSweet) is another additive that enhances flavour.
Temporarily banned in the
mid-1970s because of fears that it caused mental retardation and endocrine dysfunction,
aspartame is now back as a common additive in foods and carbonated drinks.
Aspartame is a known culprit in cases of urticaria.
(...to be continued)
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