(NEXSTAR) – A California lawsuit recently put Mars, Inc. in the hot seat, claiming that one of its candies contained toxins that were dangerous to eat.
The class action lawsuit filed earlier this month accuses the candy maker of including “high levels” of titanium dioxide, or TiO2, in its Skittles candies. The petitioner pointed out that the European Union would phase out the use of titanium dioxide with a total ban coming into force next month; however, Skittles are not the only popular American food containing ingredients banned or restricted in other countries.
Here are some American snacks you won’t find in other countries:
Mountain Dew and Fresca
Americans who “do the dew” might be surprised to learn that the product contains brominated vegetable oil. BVO is banned in Japan and the European Union because it contains bromine, the element found in brominated flame retardants, which can build up in the body and potentially lead to memory loss as well as skin problems and nervous. The grapefruit-flavored soda, Fresca, also contains the ingredient.
Little Debbie Swiss Rolls
European Union products containing Yellow 5 and Red 40 carry warnings that they cause adverse effects in children, but you won’t find this warning on a box of Little Debbie Swiss Rolls in the United States. Norway and Austria have banned cupcakes altogether.
Several breakfast cereals
Popular breakfast cereals, including Frosted Flakes, Honey Bunches of Oats, and Rice Krispies, contain BHT. Used as a flavor enhancer, BHT has long been studied for its potential carcinogenic properties. Although the evidence is inconclusive, BHT is banned in Japan and the European Union. Other cereals, such as Lucky Charms, use Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40, although these have been known to cause itching and hives in some.
Stuffing on the stove
Kraft Stove Top Stuffing may make weeknight dinners easier, but it also contains the same BHT found in American breakfast cereals, as well as BHA, which in high doses causes cancer in rats , mice and hamsters. Both preservatives are banned in the UK, Japan and several European countries.
Ritz Crackers & Coffee-mate
Trans fats were officially banned in the United States in 2018; however, some trans fats like partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils can still be found in popular products like Ritz crackers and Coffee-mate creamers. These ingredients are also banned in Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Iceland, Norway and Denmark.
Drumstick Frozen Desserts
Drumstick uses carrageenan, derived from seaweed, for the texture of its ice cream. Carrageenan can affect the human digestive system, which has led to its limited use in the European Union.