Not only are we connected world wide through the internet, but so are our businesses both with what we use and what we eat. Many we take for granted, since they are available almost anywhere such as the toilet paper we use to the cereal and pizza that we eat. We choose a brand by what we like and not necessarily by how it’s made. Most of the time we don’t even know.
If we are a loyal customer we assume the company has us valued as much as their profits since without us, they would cease to exist. Even our regulations such as FDA rules are suppose to be about keeping us safe. So why is it that some countries ban things that others do not? Many of us roll our eyes at the phrase “junk food” because most have indulged at one time or another. But what about things we consume regularly that are labeled dangerous in one place or another?
Parents, you pour your children that bowl of cereal, and even when you choose lower sugar cereals (yay to you), there may be ingredients that are actually banned in other countries for their harmful effects on the body. BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) which are commonly added to preserve freshness can cause cancer, kidney and liver damage, hair loss, behavioral issues and disrupt appetite and sleep. They are just two examples of ingredients that are allowed in this country, but banned in most others. Companies that do business in both, such as Quaker, Ritz, and Pizza Hut, to name a few, have products that are reformulated elsewhere.
Knowing an ingredient in their product is banned in one place, such as lead in paint in the United States, consumers should be able to believe their favorite paint brand would be sure to make it safe for everyone. After all, the devastating effects of lead paint on children is common knowledge. However, those same companies still add lead to the paint used in countries that have yet to ban it! If you are a landlord and use paint on a regular basis, do you know the common practices of your favorite brand? If you knew they added lead to the paint in different countries just because they could, would you still be loyal to them? You should look before you ask yourself that question.
Where and how is your favorite toilet paper made? Is it made by a company with horrible environmental practices and employing people with poverty level pay? It’s time we actually looked as consumers and demanded companies actually made products based on the good of everyone involved. We do have that power if we choose to use it. When people realized food dyes were damaging (even though the FDA doesn’t deem it so), Kraft took food dyes out of our Macaroni and Cheese and proudly stated so in their advertisements. We have the power. The more we use it, the better and safer the world will be.