You are here :
Food Safety

For the most part, our food supply is considered safe, but many people are still concerned with the long-term effects of some additives and preservatives. One alternative is to buy organically grown foods. Another is to avoid foods containing potentially harmful additives. Michael F. Jacobson, PhD., an expert on food safety and the author of SAFE FOOD, feels that consumers should know about the preservatives and additives that are commonly used.

Consider the following:
Waxed Produce
Growth Hormones and Antibiotic Feed
Artificial Colours

Waxed produce

Waxes can seal pesticides in food, which can be very difficult to wash off. In addition, fungicides, used to retard spoilage, are sometimes combined with the wax. At least two fungicides in use are listed as problem human carcinogens.

Growth hormones and antibiotic feed additives

The hormones have been implicated in the development of breast cancer and other cancer in humans. Feeding livestock antibiotic-laced feed can promote strains of bacteria that are resistant to our present arsenal for antibiotic drugs, putting humans at risks of dangerous infections.

Artificial Colours

Red No. 3 (erythrosine) was banned from cosmetics and some food because it produced thyroid tumors in rats. But it is still used in pistachio nuts, maraschino cherries, and other foods. Used in processed foods and some medicines, yellow No. 5 (tartrazine) can cause hives, runny nose, headaches, itching, or breathing problems in sensitive individuals.


Sodium nitrite is added to bacon and other processed meats, such as ham and bologna, as a preservative and flavor enhancer. Upon heating, and even when in the stomach, nitrite may combine with other compounds (secondary amines) to form powerful cancer-causing chemicals (nitrosamines).