1. This is illegal in Canada
An hour after munching on some light potato chips – made with fat substitute olestra -- Debra Jaliman, 55, a Manhattan dermatologist, found herself so sick with abdominal cramps that she had to cancel her slate of patients. Reactions like these are why the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy organization, says no one should eat olestra, and why Canada and the United Kingdom banned it. But it’s legal here – and you’ll find it in foods like low- or non-fat chips, crackers and cookies. Procter & Gamble, which sells olestra under the name Olean, says that nearly 6.5 million servings of foods containing Olean have been consumed since 1996, the year the FDA approved olestra for U.S. use.
Olestra isn’t the only banned substance that Americans are noshing on. Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone, or rBGH (commonly sold under the name Posilac), a synthetic hormone injected into cows to stimulate milk production, pops up in many dairy-based snacks like ice cream. Not in the European Union or Canada, where it has been banned amid health concerns for both cows and humans, including fears that a hormone associated with cancer might be higher in people who drink milk treated with rBGH. (Eli Lilly, the company that manufacturers Posilac, denies these claims.) Meanwhile, rBGH is a lucrative product in the U.S.: A division of Eli Lilly bought Posilac for more than $300 million in 2008, and studies show Posilac can increase milk production in a cow by 15% or more, meaning more milk
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