American and European regulatory systems differ by one major principal: In the U.K., if a product is suspected of being dangerous, it is handled, regulated, and controlled.

In the United States, proof of guilt is needed before the FDA will take action and limit citizens’ exposure to a dangerous compound. Effectively, unless consumers have seen harm from a product and sought damages, only then will the FDA ban or regulate a harmful substance.

While there are benefits and drawbacks to both methods, the U.K.’s method is sure to protect more consumers and make food safer and more natural.

An Alternet article by Ari LeVaux looks at the six chemical additives in food in America that are banned elsewhere in the world. While some cause anal leakage, others cause cancer, skin and nerve issues, and memory loss. All, whether you believe they should be allowed or banned, will have you taking a second look at the ingredients of your lunch.

One notable conclusion to come from this closer look at what America allows in its food is that companies who produce these toxic products can be forced to change by the free market.

In a growing trend, food producers are beginning to switch out coal tar-based food dyes for natural ones. Sensing a growing concern about things like Yellow #6, companies are touting their natural color additives as a marketing draw for the health-conscious family.

Could this marketing pressure force change in other areas of the market, such as hormonal additives to meat products? We already see some of that as well in the way that your local fast food sandwich shop advertises “hormone-free chicken breast.”

If we cannot rely on the FDA to protect our food, it is on all of us to take a close look at what we are being served and demand real change with the language everyone understands – cold, hard cash.

Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at