The FDA approved ADA as a food additive in 1962. It is not approved for use in either Australia or the European Union. As more and more synthetic ingredients come to be known about American food products, the world is turning off to America, Monsanto, and Obama. Here is the reason of awareness that prompted the BAN in Europe for Amercan cheese products, now seen as Farmed And Dangerous.
If you’ve planked on a yoga mat, slipped on flip-flops, extracted a cell phone from protective padding or lined an attic with foam insulation, chances are you’ve had a brush with an industrial chemical called azodicarbonamide, nicknamed ADA. In the plastics industry, ADA is the “chemical foaming agent” of choice. It is mixed into polymer plastic gel to generate tiny gas bubbles, something like champagne for plastics. The results are materials that are strong, light, spongy and malleable.
ADA is listed as an ingredient on the labels of many well-known brands of bread, croutons, pre-made sandwiches and snacks, including Ball Park, Butternut, Country Hearth, Fleischman’s, Food Club, Harvest Pride, Healthy Life, Jimmy Dean, Joseph Campione, Kroger, Little Debbie, Mariano’s, Marie Callendar’s, Martin’s, Mother’s, Pillsbury, Roman Meal, Sara Lee, Schmidt, Shoprite, Safeway, Smucker’s, Sunbeam, Turano, Tyson, Village Hearth, Wonder and White Castle.
As few Americans realized until Vani Hari, creator of FoodBabe.com, spotlighted it earlier this month, you’ve probably eaten ADA. This industrial plastics chemical shows up in many commercial baked goods as a “dough conditioner” that renders large batches of dough easier to handle and makes the finished products puffier and tough enough to withstand shipping and storage. According to the new EWG Food Database of ingredients in 80,000 foods, now under development, ADA turns up in nearly 500 items and in more than 130 brands of bread, bread stuffing and snacks, including many advertised as “healthy.”
This synthetic additive has been largely overlooked because it is not known to be toxic to people in the concentration approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration – 45 parts per million. According to the World Health Organization, workers handling large volumes have reported respiratory symptoms and skin sensitization, but ADA has not undergone extensive testing of its potential to harm human health.
One thing is clear: ADA is not food, as food has been defined for most of human history. It is an industrial chemical added to bread for the convenience of industrial bakers. In the early 1990s, ADA became the preferred dough conditioner of many American commercial bakers as a result of California’s Proposition 65, which went into effect in 1987. This law required California authorities to list certain chemicals in food as “possibly dangerous to human health.” Potassium bromate, then a common dough conditioner, was found to be carcinogenic in test animals and made the Prop 65 list in 1991. ADA was widely adopted as a safer substitute.
Over the years, health activists concerned about synthetic chemicals in food have attacked the widespread use of ADA, but it did not attract nationwide headlines until Hari of Food Babe circulated a petition demanding that Subway, among the nation’s biggest fast-food outlets, stop using the chemical in its loaves. Subway responded that ADA was safe, but even so, it had quietly been seeking a substitute over the past year. The company pointed out that ADA is “found in the breads of most chains such as Starbuck’s, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Arby’s, Burger King, and Dunkin Donuts.” Those other fast food giants joined Subway on the defensive.
The information detailed in this report on ADA, gathered from Food Essentials on Feb. 11, represents a snapshot of food market on that date. The marketplace is constantly changing as food processors reformulate, discontinue and introduce products. The list of products in this report represents an extensive look at the ingredients in food recently available in stores, but it may not be comprehensive. Shoppers must read product labels to know for certain whether ADA and other chemical additives are in items they’re contemplating buying.
The consumers’ search for healthier food may get easier as the “clean label” trend in food manufacturing gains momentum. Last month, the trade journal Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery reported that commercial bakers and snack food manufacturers are seeking new, better ingredients “mostly due to consumer demand for better-for-you products with clean labels and no genetically modified organisms (GM0s).” [The real deal about last month]
“Clean label,” like “natural,” has no precise legal definition. Food manufacturers often use the term to mean wholesome, without synthetic and unpronounceable ingredients – notably azodicarbonamide.
NEWS.420Nurses recommends that all 420Nurses, patients, and fan readers take steps to avoid the industrial additive ADA in their food. It is an unnecessary ingredient, its use has raised concerns about occupational exposure, and questions remain about its potential risk to consumers.
NEWS.420Nurses also calls on all manufacturers to immediately end its use in food.