Yet another potentially dangerous food additive “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA.
It’s got one of those unpronounceable names—azodicarbonamide or ADC for short—and it has been banned all over the world, except in the United States.
Many fast food chains continue to use this additive in their breads, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which last week asked the FDA to consider banning its use in food.
Added to strengthen dough, the chemical can breakdown, turning into urethane, a known carcinogen. In fact, ADC is one of the chief petrochemicals use to make yoga mats, the soles of shoes, and other rubbery products.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), standing outside a local New York City McDonald’s on February 9, called for the fast food chain to stop using the chemical. The Subway chain recently has said it will to stop using the chemical in its breads (its 9-grain wheat, Italian white, and sourdough breads have contained it).
Burger King, Wendy’s, Arby’s, and even Starbucks reportedly use the chemical in their bread products, as well as other companies in the commercial baked goods industry. Starbucks says they are phasing it out according to a Feb. 7 report on CNBC.com.
Schumer noted that the chemical is banned in most of the developed world, including Australia and much of the European Union, but it remains on the list of FDA approved food additives.
For more information
You can find a list of many other food additives to avoid, along with the names of those that do not pose risks here.
Joyce H. Newman, a Garden Variety contributing writer, covers gardening topics, food matters and environmental issues. The former editor of Consumer Reports GreenerChoices.org, which evaluates environmental claims on green product labels, she holds a certificate in horticulture from the New York Botanical Garden.