Recently, a food additives expert, Professor Erik Millstone, of England’s University of Sussex, stated that certain additives banned in Europe, along with China and India, have not been banned in the United States. These additives, some of them suspected carcinogens, may be making Americans sick.
One such chemical compound is potassium bromate. It is used in breads, in the form of powder and crystals, to strengthen the dough. Potassium bromate is believed to be part of more than 100 products in the United States. Other substances banned in Europe due to associated health concerns include titanium dioxide, brominated vegetable oil, azodicarbonamide, and propylparaben.
Professor Millstone told CBS that there is evidence potassium bromate may be toxic to people and could even promote tumor development. He stressed that European regulators are more cautious about food safety than United States regulators are.
CBS asked if the different regulations meant that Americans had developed cancers they wouldn’t have had if they’d eaten only in Europe. The professor responded that was almost certainly a true conclusion. He also noted that most Americans were totally unsuspecting that they were regularly taking in substances that were regarded as dangerous in Europe and other countries. He believes that most people assume that if it’s sold in the store, it’s fine.
The United States FDA also provided a statement to CBS. It said that food additives like the ones Professor Millstone talked about required pre-market evaluation. American regulations, it claimed, require proof that a substance is safe with regard to its level of use before manufacturers can add it to food.
The FDA also said that research and review of new information about additive is ongoing. When use of the substance is no longer safe, the ongoing review allows regulators to act regarding any safety concerns that arise. The agency also claimed that potassium bromate becomes harmless when food is being produced. However, it admitted that not all of the compound that is used in a particular recipe may be converted to a harmless state in the course of production. Rather, it said, manufacturers use control measures to reduce the amount that occurs in the final food product.
When our attorneys are able to prove a manufacturer’s liability in a product liability lawsuit, we can recover compensatory damages on behalf of clients. These damages are intended to make up for losses suffered as the result of a product that is dangerous in terms of its manufacturing, design, or marketing. When an additive causes serious illness, it may be appropriate to sue the manufacturer for compensatory damages.
Consumers assume that the food sold in grocery stores is safe to eat. If you were harmed by food that you believe contained dangerous additives, you should give the trustworthy Chicago-based product liability lawyers of Moll Law Group a call to determine what your legal options may be. We can be reached at 312.462.1700 or via our online form if you suspect you may have a claim.