Know : Genetically Modified Foods : 20 Questions : WHO’s Answers

Must Know: Find the answers to these 20 questions on Genetically Modified Foods by the World Health Organization, (below the video)

1. What are genetically modified (GM) organisms and GM foods?
2. Why are GM foods produced?
3. Are GM foods assessed differently from traditional foods?
4. How are the potential risks to human health determined?
5. What are the main issues of concern for human health?
6. How is a risk assessment for the environment performed?
7. What are the issues of concern for the environment?
8. Are GM foods safe?
9. How are GM foods regulated nationally?
10. What kind of GM foods are on the market internationally?
11. What happens when GM foods are traded internationally?
12. Have GM products on the international market passed a risk assessment?
13. Why has there been concern about GM foods among some politicians, public interest groups and consumers, especially in Europe?
14. How has this concern affected the marketing of GM foods in the European Union?
15. What is the state of public debate on GM foods in other regions of the world?
16. Are people’s reactions related to the different attitudes to food in various regions of the world?
17. Are there implications for the rights of farmers to own their crops?
18. Why are certain groups concerned about the growing influence of the chemical industry on agriculture?
19. What further developments can be expected in the area of GMOs?
20. What is WHO doing to improve the evaluation of GM foods?

Note: This documentary is not by WHO, it is from another source.

These questions and answers have been prepared by WHO in response to questions and concerns by a number of WHO Member State Governments with regard to the nature and safety of genetically modified food.

Q1. What are genetically modified (GM) organisms and GM foods?

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be defined as organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. The technology is often called “modern biotechnology” or “gene technology”, sometimes also “recombinant DNA technology” or “genetic engineering”. It allows selected individual genes to be transferred from one organism into another, also between non-related species.

Such methods are used to create GM plants – which are then used to grow GM food crops.

Q2. Why are GM foods produced?

GM foods are developed – and marketed – because there is some perceived advantage either to the producer or consumer of these foods. This is meant to translate into a product with a lower price, greater benefit (in terms of durability or nutritional value) or both. Initially GM seed developers wanted their products to be accepted by producers so have concentrated on innovations that farmers (and the food industry more generally) would appreciate.

The initial objective for developing plants based on GM organisms was to improve crop protection. The GM crops currently on the market are mainly aimed at an increased level of crop protection through the introduction of resistance against plant diseases caused by insects or viruses or through increased tolerance towards herbicides.

Insect resistance is achieved by incorporating into the food plant the gene for toxin production from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (BT). This toxin is currently used as a conventional insecticide in agriculture and is safe for human consumption. GM crops that permanently produce this toxin have been shown to require lower quantities of insecticides in specific situations, e.g. where pest pressure is high.

Virus resistance is achieved through the introduction of a gene from certain viruses which cause disease in plants. Virus resistance makes plants less susceptible to diseases caused by such viruses, resulting in higher crop yields.

Herbicide tolerance is achieved through the introduction of a gene from a bacterium conveying resistance to some herbicides. In situations where weed pressure is high, the use of such crops has resulted in a reduction in the quantity of the herbicides used.

Q3. Are GM foods assessed differently from traditional foods?

Generally consumers consider that traditional foods (that have often been eaten for thousands of years) are safe. When new foods are developed by natural methods, some of the existing characteristics of foods can be altered, either in a positive or a negative way National food authorities may be called upon to examine traditional foods, but this is not always the case. Indeed, new plants developed through traditional breeding techniques may not be evaluated rigorously using risk assessment techniques.

With GM foods most national authorities consider that specific assessments are necessary. Specific systems have been set up for the rigorous evaluation of GM organisms and GM foods relative to both human health and the environment. Similar evaluations are generally not performed for traditional foods. Hence there is a significant difference in the evaluation process prior to marketing for these two groups of food.

One of the objectives of the WHO Food Safety Programme is to assist national authorities in the identification of foods that should be subject to risk assessment, including GM foods, and to recommend the correct assessments.

Q4. How are the potential risks to human health determined?

The safety assessment of GM foods generally investigates: (a) direct health effects (toxicity), (b) tendencies to provoke allergic reaction (allergenicity); (c) specific components thought to have nutritional or toxic properties; (d) the stability of the inserted gene; (e) nutritional effects associated with genetic modification; and (f) any unintended effects which could result from the gene insertion.

Q5. What are the main issues of concern for human health?

While theoretical discussions have covered a broad range of aspects, the three main issues debated are tendencies to provoke allergic reaction (allergenicity), gene transfer and outcrossing.

Allergenicity. As a matter of principle, the transfer of genes from commonly allergenic foods is discouraged unless it can be demonstrated that the protein product of the transferred gene is not allergenic. While traditionally developed foods are not generally tested for allergenicity, protocols for tests for GM foods have been evaluated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and WHO. No allergic effects have been found relative to GM foods currently on the market.

Gene transfer. Gene transfer from GM foods to cells of the body or to bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract would cause concern if the transferred genetic material adversely affects human health. This would be particularly relevant if antibiotic resistance genes, used in creating GMOs, were to be transferred. Although the probability of transfer is low, the use of technology without antibiotic resistance genes has been encouraged by a recent FAO/WHO expert panel.

Outcrossing. The movement of genes from GM plants into conventional crops or related species in the wild (referred to as “outcrossing”), as well as the mixing of crops derived from conventional seeds with those grown using GM crops, may have an indirect effect on food safety and food security. This risk is real, as was shown when traces of a maize type which was only approved for feed use appeared in maize products for human consumption in the United States of America. Several countries have adopted strategies to reduce mixing, including a clear separation of the fields within which GM crops and conventional crops are grown.

Feasibility and methods for post-marketing monitoring of GM food products, for the continued surveillance of the safety of GM food products, are under discussion.

Q6. How is a risk assessment for the environment performed?

Environmental risk assessments cover both the GMO concerned and the potential receiving environment. The assessment process includes evaluation of the characteristics of the GMO and its effect and stability in the environment, combined with ecological characteristics of the environment in which the introduction will take place. The assessment also includes unintended effects which could result from the insertion of the new gene.

Q7. What are the issues of concern for the environment?

Issues of concern include: the capability of the GMO to escape and potentially introduce the engineered genes into wild populations; the persistence of the gene after the GMO has been harvested; the susceptibility of non-target organisms (e.g. insects which are not pests) to the gene product; the stability of the gene; the reduction in the spectrum of other plants including loss of biodiversity; and increased use of chemicals in agriculture. The environmental safety aspects of GM crops vary considerably according to local conditions.

Current investigations focus on: the potentially detrimental effect on beneficial insects or a faster induction of resistant insects; the potential generation of new plant pathogens; the potential detrimental consequences for plant biodiversity and wildlife, and a decreased use of the important practice of crop rotation in certain local situations; and the movement of herbicide resistance genes to other plants.

Q8. Are GM foods safe?

Different GM organisms include different genes inserted in different ways. This means that individual GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and that it is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods.

GM foods currently available on the international market have passed risk assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. In addition, no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved. Continuous use of risk assessments based on the Codex principles and, where appropriate, including post market monitoring, should form the basis for evaluating the safety of GM foods.

Q9. How are GM foods regulated nationally?

The way governments have regulated GM foods varies. In some countries GM foods are not yet regulated. Countries which have legislation in place focus primarily on assessment of risks for consumer health. Countries which have provisions for GM foods usually also regulate GMOs in general, taking into account health and environmental risks, as well as control- and trade-related issues (such as potential testing and labelling regimes). In view of the dynamics of the debate on GM foods, legislation is likely to continue to evolve.

Q10. What kind of GM foods are on the market internationally?

All GM crops available on the international market today have been designed using one of three basic traits: resistance to insect damage; resistance to viral infections; and tolerance towards certain herbicides. All the genes used to modify crops are derived from microorganisms.

Q11. What happens when GM foods are traded internationally?

No specific international regulatory systems are currently in place. However, several international organizations are involved in developing protocols for GMOs.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) is the joint FAO/WHO body responsible for compiling the standards, codes of practice, guidelines and recommendations that constitute the Codex Alimentarius: the international food code. Codex is developing principles for the human health risk analysis of GM foods. The premise of these principles dictates a premarket assessment, performed on a case-by-case basis and including an evaluation of both direct effects (from the inserted gene) and unintended effects (that may arise as a consequence of insertion of the new gene). The principles are at an advanced stage of development and are expected to be adopted in July 2003. Codex principles do not have a binding effect on national legislation, but are referred to specifically in the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement of the World Trade Organization (SPS Agreement), and can be used as a reference in case of trade disputes.

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB), an environmental treaty legally binding for its Parties, regulates transboundary movements of living modified organisms (LMOs). GM foods are within the scope of the Protocol only if they contain LMOs that are capable of transferring or replicating genetic material. The cornerstone of the CPB is a requirement that exporters seek consent from importers before the first shipment of LMOs intended for release into the environment. The Protocol will enter into force 90 days after the 50th country has ratified it, which may be in early 2003 in view of the accelerated depositions registered since June 2002.

Q12. Have GM products on the international market passed a risk assessment?

The GM products that are currently on the international market have all passed risk assessments conducted by national authorities. These different assessments in general follow the same basic principles, including an assessment of environmental and human health risk. These assessments are thorough, they have not indicated any risk to human health.

Q13. Why has there been concern about GM foods among some politicians, public interest groups and consumers, especially in Europe?

Since the first introduction on the market in the mid-1990s of a major GM food (herbicide-resistant soybeans), there has been increasing concern about such food among politicians, activists and consumers, especially in Europe. Several factors are involved.

In the late 1980s – early 1990s, the results of decades of molecular research reached the public domain. Until that time, consumers were generally not very aware of the potential of this research. In the case of food, consumers started to wonder about safety because they perceive that modern biotechnology is leading to the creation of new species.

Consumers frequently ask, “what is in it for me?”. Where medicines are concerned, many consumers more readily accept biotechnology as beneficial for their health (e.g. medicines with improved treatment potential). In the case of the first GM foods introduced onto the European market, the products were of no apparent direct benefit to consumers (not cheaper, no increased shelf-life, no better taste). The potential for GM seeds to result in bigger yields per cultivated area should lead to lower prices. However, public attention has focused on the risk side of the risk-benefit equation.

Consumer confidence in the safety of food supplies in Europe has decreased significantly as a result of a number of food scares that took place in the second half of the 1990s that are unrelated to GM foods. This has also had an impact on discussions about the acceptability of GM foods. Consumers have questioned the validity of risk assessments, both with regard to consumer health and environmental risks, focusing in particular on long-term effects. Other topics for debate by consumer organizations have included allergenicity and antimicrobial resistance. Consumer concerns have triggered a discussion on the desirability of labelling GM foods, allowing an informed choice. At the same time, it has proved difficult to detect traces of GMOs in foods: this means that very low concentrations often cannot be detected.

Q14. How has this concern affected the marketing of GM foods in the European Union?

The public concerns about GM food and GMOs in general have had a significant impact on the marketing of GM products in the European Union (EU). In fact, they have resulted in the so-called moratorium on approval of GM products to be placed on the market. Marketing of GM food and GMOs in general are the subject of extensive legislation. Community legislation has been in place since the early 1990s. The procedure for approval of the release of GMOs into the environment is rather complex and basically requires agreement between the Member States and the European Commission. Between 1991 and 1998, the marketing of 18 GMOs was authorized in the EU by a Commission decision.

As of October 1998, no further authorizations have been granted and there are currently 12 applications pending. Some Member States have invoked a safeguard clause to temporarily ban the placing on the market in their country of GM maize and oilseed rape products. There are currently nine ongoing cases. Eight of these have been examined by the Scientific Committee on Plants, which in all cases deemed that the information submitted by Member States did not justify their bans.

During the 1990s, the regulatory framework was further extended and refined in response to the legitimate concerns of citizens, consumer organizations and economic operators (described under Question 13). A revised directive will come into force in October 2002. It will update and strengthen the existing rules concerning the process of risk assessment, risk management and decision-making with regard to the release of GMOs into the environment. The new directive also foresees mandatory monitoring of long-term effects associated with the interaction between GMOs and the environment.

Labelling in the EU is mandatory for products derived from modern biotechnology or products containing GM organisms. Legislation also addresses the problem of accidental contamination of conventional food by GM material. It introduces a 1% minimum threshold for DNA or protein resulting from genetic modification, below which labelling is not required.

In 2001, the European Commission adopted two new legislative proposals on GMOs concerning traceability, reinforcing current labelling rules and streamlining the authorization procedure for GMOs in food and feed and for their deliberate release into the environment.

The European Commission is of the opinion that these new proposals, building on existing legislation, aim to address the concerns of Member States and to build consumer confidence in the authorization of GM products. The Commission expects that adoption of these proposals will pave the way for resuming the authorization of new GM products in the EU.

Q15. What is the state of public debate on GM foods in other regions of the world?

The release of GMOs into the environment and the marketing of GM foods have resulted in a public debate in many parts of the world. This debate is likely to continue, probably in the broader context of other uses of biotechnology (e.g. in human medicine) and their consequences for human societies. Even though the issues under debate are usually very similar (costs and benefits, safety issues), the outcome of the debate differs from country to country. On issues such as labelling and traceability of GM foods as a way to address consumer concerns, there is no consensus to date. This has become apparent during discussions within the Codex Alimentarius Commission over the past few years. Despite the lack of consensus on these topics, significant progress has been made on the harmonization of views concerning risk assessment. The Codex Alimentarius Commission is about to adopt principles on premarket risk assessment, and the provisions of the Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety also reveal a growing understanding at the international level.

Most recently, the humanitarian crisis in southern Africa has drawn attention to the use of GM food as food aid in emergency situations. A number of governments in the region raised concerns relating to environmental and food safety fears. Although workable solutions have been found for distribution of milled grain in some countries, others have restricted the use of GM food aid and obtained commodities which do not contain GMOs.

Q16. Are people’s reactions related to the different attitudes to food in various regions of the world?

Depending on the region of the world, people often have different attitudes to food. In addition to nutritional value, food often has societal and historical connotations, and in some instances may have religious importance. Technological modification of food and food production can evoke a negative response among consumers, especially in the absence of good communication on risk assessment efforts and cost/benefit evaluations.

Q17. Are there implications for the rights of farmers to own their crops?

Yes, intellectual property rights are likely to be an element in the debate on GM foods, with an impact on the rights of farmers. Intellectual property rights (IPRs), especially patenting obligations of the TRIPS Agreement (an agreement under the World Trade Organization concerning trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights) have been discussed in the light of their consequences on the further availability of a diversity of crops. In the context of the related subject of the use of gene technology in medicine, WHO has reviewed the conflict between IPRs and an equal access to genetic resources and the sharing of benefits. The review has considered potential problems of monopolization and doubts about new patent regulations in the field of genetic sequences in human medicine. Such considerations are likely to also affect the debate on GM foods.

Q18. Why are certain groups concerned about the growing influence of the chemical industry on agriculture?

Certain groups are concerned about what they consider to be an undesirable level of control of seed markets by a few chemical companies. Sustainable agriculture and biodiversity benefit most from the use of a rich variety of crops, both in terms of good crop protection practices as well as from the perspective of society at large and the values attached to food. These groups fear that as a result of the interest of the chemical industry in seed markets, the range of varieties used by farmers may be reduced mainly to GM crops. This would impact on the food basket of a society as well as in the long run on crop protection (for example, with the development of resistance against insect pests and tolerance of certain herbicides). The exclusive use of herbicide-tolerant GM crops would also make the farmer dependent on these chemicals. These groups fear a dominant position of the chemical industry in agricultural development, a trend which they do not consider to be sustainable.

Q19. What further developments can be expected in the area of GMOs?

Future GM organisms are likely to include plants with improved disease or drought resistance, crops with increased nutrient levels, fish species with enhanced growth characteristics and plants or animals producing pharmaceutically important proteins such as vaccines. At the international level, the response to new developments can be found in the expert consultations organized by FAO and WHO in 2000 and 2001, and the subsequent work of the Codex ad hoc Task Force on Foods Derived from Biotechnology. This work has resulted in an improved and harmonized framework for the risk assessment of GM foods in general. Specific questions, such as the evaluation of allergenicity of GM foods or the safety of foods derived from GM microorganisms, have been covered and an expert consultation organized by FAO and WHO will focus on foods derived from GM animals in 2003.

Q20. What is WHO doing to improve the evaluation of GM foods?

WHO will take an active role in relation to GM foods, primarily for two reasons:

(1) on the grounds that public health could benefit enormously from the potential of biotechnology, for example, from an increase in the nutrient content of foods, decreased allergenicity and more efficient food production; and (2) based on the need to examine the potential negative effects on human health of the consumption of food produced through genetic modification, also at the global level. It is clear that modern technologies must be thoroughly evaluated if they are to constitute a true improvement in the way food is produced. Such evaluations must be holistic and all-inclusive, and cannot stop at the previously separated, non-coherent systems of evaluation focusing solely on human health or environmental effects in isolation.

Work is therefore under way in WHO to present a broader view of the evaluation of GM foods in order to enable the consideration of other important factors. This more holistic evaluation of GM organisms and GM products will consider not only safety but also food security, social and ethical aspects, access and capacity building. International work in this new direction presupposes the involvement of other key international organizations in this area. As a first step, the WHO Executive Board will discuss the content of a WHO report covering this subject in January 2003. The report is being developed in collaboration with other key organizations, notably FAO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It is hoped that this report could form the basis for a future initiative towards a more systematic, coordinated, multi-organizational and international evaluation of certain GM foods.


Courtesy : Anna Kopecky via Youtube, BBC, WHO

Alert! : List of Dangerous Ingredients in Body and Food Products

Dangerous chemicals

MUST READ & MUST SHARE: This could be an absolute shocker. Right from baby products to hair gels, fairness creams, shampoos, soaps, etc. Hazardous chemicals are used. Their effects are not just easy to understand, a few compounds can affect the fetus and cause cancer in them. The worst part is how these chemicals made it to the market and end up in our homes. The companies and manufacturers use various tricky statements as “natural flavors”, “Natural identical substances” to cover up the hazardous chemicals that they use, with no ethics but a mere profit making aim. We must stand up against such products. The easiest way to identify is to look for ban in different countries, some products are banned in European countries and still available for sale in the US and many other countries. Especially in a country like India the masses are going after products based on advertisements majorly, which is an alarming concern. Hope this article helps you to realize the fact and dangers around us.

PLEASE LIKE THIS POST AND SHARE WITH AS MANY AS FRIENDS AND FAMILY YOU WISH AND SPREAD THE AWARENESS.

Acesulfame K
Sugar substitute found in pudding, chewing gum, non-dairy creamers, instant coffee mixes, tea mixes and gelatin desserts. May increase cancer in humans.

Acetone
Also known as Dimethylketone, 2-Propanone, Beta-Ketopropane. Inhalation of moderate to high amounts, even for a short time results in entry of acetone into bloodstream where it is carried to all other organs. Nose, throat, lung and eye irritant, headaches, confusion, increased pulse rate, effects on blood, nausea, vomiting and unconsciousness, coma. Shortens the menstrual cycle in women. Effects of long-term exposure include kidney, liver and nerve damage, increased birth defects, metabolic changes and coma. Found in nail polish remover.

Acetaldehyde
Found in many nail care products. Known to cause cancers in humans and experimental animals.

Acrylamide/polyacrylamide
Acrylamide, produced naturally in some foods when cooked at high temps. Manufactured for use in polyacrylamide gels, sometimes used as a treatment for drinking water and/ or wastewater. Acrylamide causes cancer in animals and in large doses, nerve damage in humans. Smoking is a major acrylamide producer as is frying, deep frying or extended micro-waving.

Alcohol
Implicated in oral cancer. Found in mouthwash, astringent, toothpaste, cleansers.

Alkyl-phenol Ethoxylades
May reduce sperm count. Found in shampoo and bubble bath.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid
Destroys skin cells and leaves skin more susceptible to damage from the environment and skin cancer. Actually ends up aging skin. Found in anti-aging facial creams and lotions.

Aluminum
Heavy concentrations may be linked to Alzheimer’s dementia. Aluminum is in many antiperspirants and prevalent in water supplies. Processed foods contain dietary aluminum.
Sodium aluminum phosphate appears in pickles, cheese and baking soda.

Ammonium Glycolate
A photosensitizer with potential to increase risk of sunburn and skin cancer by intensifying UV exposures in deep skin layers. This sensitizer can instigate immune system response that includes itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin. It is also a penetration enhancer which alters the skins’ structure, allowing other chemicals to penetrate deeper into the skin, thus increasing the amounts of other chemicals that reach the bloodstream. Found in body products.

Ammonium Persulfate
Found in hair color and bleaching kit sensitizer – can instigate immune system response that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin, lung sensitizer – can instigate immune system response that can include asthma attacks or other problems with the lungs and airways. Immune system toxin, respiratory toxicant, skin or sense organ toxicant, classified as toxic in one or more government assessments.

Aspartame
Genetically Modified, synthetic sugar substitute. People report dizziness, headaches and even seizures. Scientists believe it can alter behavior due to altered brain function. Long term effects of this genetically modified organism on human health has not been studied or tested. Found as a sweetener in foods and some body products, such as shaving gel. 

Benzalkonium chloride, cetrimonium chloride and lauryl dimonium hydrolysed collagen Found in hair treatment products. Both are toxic and allergenic.

Benzene
Inhalation of high levels can cause headaches, rapid heart rate, tremors, confusion, unconsciousness and death. Hodgkin’s and Lymphomas result from inhalation. Used in detergents, drugs, pesticides and adhesives.

Benzoic Acid
Inhalation affects nervous system and is moderately toxic by ingestion. Severe eye and skin irritant. Used as a food preservative and in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics

Benzoic / Benzyl / Benzene
Contains carcinogens, endocrine disruptor, may cause birth defects. Found in shower gels, shampoos, bubble bath.

Benzoyl Peroxide
In acne treatments, bar soap, facial cleansers and food additives! Highly toxic/ irritant.

Bisphenol A or BPA
Toxic plastic chemical used as a can lining in brands of some infant formulas. Also found in water bottles, this chemical is used to produce polycarbonate and epoxy plastics. For babies, check food container labels and beware of polycarbonate plastic baby bottles. Chemical reactions can occur when plastic is heated.

BHA – BHT
Banned in other countries, these two preservatives are considered carcinogenic but remain in U.S. manufactured foods that contain oil as they retard rancidity. Found in foods and body products.

Bronopol
May break down into formaldehyde, may form carcinogenic nitrosamines. Found in body products.

Butylparaben
Potential breast cancer risk and endocrine disruptor raising concern for impaired fertility or development, increased risk for certain cancers, itching burning and blistering of skin. Found in body products.

Carboxymethylcellulose
Causes cancer in animals. Used in cosmetics, inhalation could cause chemical pneumonitis.

Coal Tar Dyes – (includes D&C Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 33, etc.)
Even though their carcinogenicity has recently been proven, the 1938 Act includes a specific exemption for them. Severe allergic reactions, asthma attacks, headaches, nausea, fatigue, lack of concentration, nervousness, increased risk of Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Found in bubble bath, hair dye, dandruff shampoo, toothpaste and foods.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine
May contain harmful impurities or form toxic breakdown products, itching, burning and blistering of skin. Synthesized from coconuts, this chemical is found in body products and may be labeled natural or organic.

Coumarin
Formerly the active ingredient in rat poison. A carcinogenic ingredient used in the manufacturing of deodorants, shampoos, skin fresheners and perfumes.

D&C Yellow 11
Found in: Lip gloss, polish remover, nail polish, bath oil/salts/soak, body spray, mositurizer, lipstick, styling gel/lotion, bar soap, after sun products, cologne, nail treatment. Color safe for external use only, found in ingested products, Color not approved for use around eyes, in eye products

DEA: Diethanolamine
A chemical used as a wetting or thickening agent in shampoos, soaps, hairsprays and sunscreens, blocks absorption of the nutrient choline, which is essential to brain development in a fetus.

Diacetyl
An additive that tastes like butter causes a serious lung condition called bronchiolitis obliterans, or “popcorn workers’ lung. Found in foods, especially microwave popcorn.

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
A chemical used to keep nail polish from chipping, has been connected to cancer in lab animals as well as long-term fertility issues in newborn boys. Banned in Europe, but still in use in the U.S. Found in nail polish.

Dimethicone
A silicone emollient, which coats the skin not allowing toxins out. May promote tumors and accumulate in the liver and lymph nodes. Found in lotions and creams.

Dioforms
Damage and weaken tooth enamel allowing more staining and discoloration to take place. Found in tooth whitening products.

Disodium EDTA
Harmful if swallowed or inhaled, causes irritation to skin, eyes and respiratory tract. Found in cosmetics.

Diazolidinyl Urea
Found in facial cleansers, shampoos and conditioners. Linked to neurotoxicity and immunotoxicity

DMDM Hydantoin
Contains formaldehyde , an ingredient linked to cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity. Allergenic, can be an irritant to eyes, skin and lungs. Common in manicure/pedicure products and hair treatment packages.

Ethylacrylate
Found in some mascaras’s suspected as a cause of cancer in humans, based on studies of human populations or laboratory animals.

Elastin
Suffocates skin by not allowing moisture in or out. Found in facial creams and body lotions.

Fluoride
May contain lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. Accumulates in body and contributes to bone disease. Carcinogenic. Found in toothpastes.

Formaldehyde
Suspected carcinogen and neurotoxin, it may be fatal if swallowed, absorbed through skin, inhaled or swallowed. Can cause spasms, edema, chemical pneumonitis and is extremely destructive to tissue of the mucous membrane, this chemical is found in many nail care products. Known to cause cancers in humans and experimental animals. Found in baby shampoo, bubble bath, deodorants, perfume, cologne, hair dye, mouthwash, toothpaste, hair spray, nail polish.

Fragrances (Synthetic)
Some perfumes / fragrances contain hundreds of chemicals. Some, such as methylene chloride are carcinogenic. Some cause brain damage or are neurotoxins. Avoid unless you can be sure they are not carcinogenic.

Glycolic Acid
Penetration enhancer which alters skin structure, allowing other chemicals to penetrate deeper into the skin, increasing the amounts of other chemicals that reach the bloodstream, skin or sense organs. As a sensitizer it can instigate immune system response that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin. Toxicant, neurotoxin, kidney toxicant, gastrointestinal or liver toxicant. Found in creams, lotions, cosmetics.

GMO/Genetically Modified Organism
Plants, animals or foods that have been genetically modified, genetically engineered or BT/Biotechnology modified. Genetic engineering enables scientists to create plants, animals and micro-organisms by manipulating genes in a way that does not occur naturally. Minimal testing shows that animals fed GMO feed, refuse to eat it. When force-fed the feed (corn, soy, tomatoes etc.) the animals developed stomach lesions and malformations of organs. GMO food is not labeled as such in the U.S. Almost all other countries have banned the use of GMO in food and body products due to insufficient testing. 

Hydroabietyl Alcohol
Found in styling gel/lotions. Unsafe for use in cosmetics according to the fragrance industry’s International Fragrance Association.

High Fructose Corn Syrup/HFCS
High fructose consumption has been fingered as a causative factor in heart disease. It raises blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. It makes blood cells more prone to clotting, and it may also accelerate the aging process. 

Hydrogenated/Partially Hydrogenated Oils
Hydrogenated oils contain high levels of trans fats. A trans fat is an otherwise normal fatty acid that has been radically changed by high heat. Trans fats are poison: just like arsenic. Partially hydrogenated oils will not only kill you in the long term by producing diseases like multiple sclerosis and allergies that lead to arthritis, but in the meantime they will make you fat! 

Hydroquinone
A severely toxic and very powerful chemical. Banned in the United Kingdom, but still used in the U.S. Found in skin lightening products and hair dyes, this chemical alters the skins natural structure inhibiting the production of Melanin. Without natural protection, the skin is more susceptible to skin cancer. Prolonged use of Hydroquinone will thicken collagen fibers damaging the connective tissues. The result is rough blotchy skin leaving it with a spotty caviar appearance.

Hydroxymethylcellulose
Used in cosmetics. Inhalation could cause chemical pneumonitis.

Imidazolidinyl Urea
This allergenic chemical finds its way into deodorants, shampoos, hand cream and some mascaras.

Isobutylparaben
Potential breast cancer risk. Itching, burning and blistering of skin. Found in body products.

Isoproponal/Isopropyl Alcohol
Moderately toxic chemical causing flushing, pulse rate decrease, blood pressure lowering, anesthesia, narcosis, headache, dizziness, mental depression, drowsiness, hallucinations, distorted perceptions, respiratory depression, nausea, vomiting and coma. Used to clean/disinfect skin, lower temperatures. Found in some body products.

Kajoic Acid
A chemical that inhibits melanin production. Used in skin lightening products, it damages the skin and makes it more susceptible to cancer.

Lacquer
Can cause eyelashes to fall out. Found in mascara.

Lanolin
While lanolin itself is skin beneficial, it may contain carcinogenic pesticides such as DDT, lindane, dieldrin and other neurotoxins. Can cause rashes. Found in body products.

Lye
Can dry and damage skin. Found in bars of soap.

Magnesium Stearate / Stearic Acid
May contain phosphatidyl choline which collapses cell membranes and selectively kills T-Cells which breaks down the immune system. An execeptant that is used to bind medicinal tablets and make them smooth it is also used in pharmaceuticals, foods, talcum powder, ammunition, and as a drying agent in paints.

MEA: Cocamide DEA, Lauramide DEA, Linoleamide DEA, Oleamide DEA
NDEA (N-nitrosodiethanolamine) forms when DEA reacts with nitrosating agents or the actual addition of nitrite as a preservative. As there is no way to determine if NDEA has been formed, it is imperative to avoid all products containing DEA as it is a known carcinogen. Often used in cosmetics to adjust the pH, and used with many fatty acids to convert acid to salt (stearate), which then becomes the base for a cleanser.

Methylisothiazoline, or MIT
Causes neurological damage. Found in shampoo.

Methyl Methacrylate
May cause fingers and nails to inflame. Found in nail polish.

Methylparaben
Potential breast cancer risk and endocrine disruptor raising concern for impaired fertility or development of fetus, and increased risk for certain cancers, itching, burning and blistering of skin. A close cousin of benzoic acid: poisonous and moderately toxic it is found in body products.

Mineral Oil
A derivative of petroleum, this additive clogs pores, locks in toxins, suffocates and dries skin and inhibits your skins natural oil production further increasing dehydration. Causes testicular tumors in the fetus, deposits accumulate in the lymph nodes and prevent absorption of vitamin A from the intestines. Found in blush, baby oil, lotions, foundation and creams.

Monosodium Glutamate/MSG
MSG is an excitotoxin, which causes nerve damage and allergic reactions. Found in hundreds of foods, often under other names. 

MTBE
Gasoline additive. Known as a “likely” human carcinogenic.

Neotame
Neotame is a reformulated aspartame that will require smaller amounts than aspartame to achieve the same sweetness. Neotame, like aspartame, contains aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and a methyl esther. Animal studies reveal aspartic acid and glutamic acid load on the same receptors in the brain, cause identical brain lesions and neuroendocrine disorders, and act in an additive fashion. People who are sensitive to processed free glutamic acid (MSG) experience similar reactions to aspartame, and people who are sensitive to aspartame experience similar reactions to MSG. People who currently react to MSG and/or aspartame should expect to react similarly to Neotame. Found in soft drinks, pharmaceuticals, processed foods of all kinds.

Nitrate – Nitrite
While nitrate itself is harmless; it is readily converted to nitrite. When nitrite combines with compounds called secondary amines, it forms nitrosamines: extremely powerful cancer-causing chemicals. The chemical reaction occurs most readily at the high temperatures of frying. Nitrite has long been suspected as being a cause of stomach cancer.

Nitrosamines
Extremely powerful, cancer-causing chemicals formed at high temperatures when the preservative nitrite combines with compounds called secondary amines.

Olestra
While fat-free, this additive has a fatal side effect: it attaches to valuable nutrients and flushes them out of the body. Some of these nutrients, called carotenoids, appear to protect us from such diseases as lung cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, and macular degeneration. Olestra replaces fats in ‘fat-free’ foods.

Padimate-O (PABA)
Nitrosamines, potent carcinogens, may form in products that contain Padimate-O. There is no way of knowing if they have formed. Found in cosmetics and sunscreens.

Paraffin
Possible carcinogen. Found in cosmetics and food.

PBDE
Toxic flame retardant, used in baby bedding to slow advance of fire. Residue found in breast milk.

Perchlorate
It is rocket science! Perchlorate is a by- product of rocket fuel, discovered in over 90% of the U.S. lettuce and milk supply. It interferes with thyroid function can cause thyroid cancer and or hypothyroidism.

PEG Stearates
Potentially contaminated with or breaking down into chemicals linked to cancer or other significant health problems. Found in cosmetics, creams and foods.

PEG (Polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, oxynol: any ethoxylated compound, including SLES)
May contain ¼-dioxane which is a possible carcinogen, estrogen mimic and endocrine disruptor. Can only be removed from a product through vacuum stripping during processing. Avoid all ethyoxylated products as a precaution. Found in foods and body products.

PEG-12 Distearate
May contain harmful impurities or form toxic breakdown products linked to cancer or other significant health problems. Found in creams, lotions, cosmetics and foods.

PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate
May contain harmful impurities or form toxic breakdown products linked to cancer or other significant health problems, gastrointestinal or liver toxicity hazards. Found in cosmetics, creams, lotions and foods.

PEG-14M
May contain harmful impurities or form toxic breakdown products linked to cancer or other significant health problems. Found in foods, lotions, creams and cosmetics.

Petroleum (Petrolatum)
Suffocates skin and traps toxins in body, clogs pores. Found in lotions, skin creams, and body jelly.

PFOA or C8
Used when processing polytetrafluroroethylene (PTFE) or Teflon. This toxic chemical remains in animals and humans for indefinite periods.

PFOS
Perflurooctanotane sulfonate. A fluorocarbon used in producing repellents and surfactant products, like stain resistant fabric.

Phenoxyethanol
Possible connection to reproductive or developmental harm to fetus, potential for reduced fertility, classified as toxic and an irritant, potential risks to wildlife and environment through excretion of body product toxins and disposal of cosmetics.

Phthalates
Accumulates in the body; proven damage to liver, lungs, kidneys and reproductive systems. Appears in vinyl flooring, plastic wallpaper, perfume, hair spray, deodorant, nail polish, hair gel, mousse, body and hand lotion. Look for it in children’s toys, as; DEHP, BBP and DBP.

Polyethylene Glycol /PEG
Moderately toxic, eye irritant and possible carcinogen. Many glycols produce severe acidosis, central nervous system damage and congestion. Can cause convulsions, mutations, and surface EEG changes. Found in cosmetics, body products, foods, lotions.

Polypropylene
Possible carcinogen. Found in lipstick, mascara, baby soap, eye shadow.

Polyscorbate-60
Used in cosmetics. Inhalation could cause chemical pneumonitis .

Polyquaternium-7
May contain harmful impurities or form toxic breakdown products linked to cancer or other significant health problems. Found in body products.

Potassium Bromate
An additive that increases the volume and crumb of bread, is banned worldwide except in the U.S. and Japan. Considered carcinogenic.

p-Phenylenediamine (PPD)
Very toxic substance, used in hair dyeing, shampoo’s and hair spray. Highly carcinogenic, developmental and reproductive toxicity, it is allergenic and can cause skin irritation issues.

Propylene Glycol
Kidney damage, liver abnormalities, inhibits skin cell growth, damages cell membranes causing rashes, surface damage and dry skin. Absorbed into blood stream and travels to all organs. Many glycols produce severe acidosis, central nervous system damage and congestion. Can cause convulsions, mutations, and surface EEG changes. It is derived from petroleum products. The Material Safety Data Sheets on propylene glycol warns against contact with eyes, skin and clothing. It also says inhalation can cause irritation of nasal passages, ingestion can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Research also shows that it alters cell membranes and causes cardiac arrest. Found in shaving gel, lotions, shampoo, conditioners, foods, deodorant.

Propylparaben
Potential breast cancer risk and endocrine disruptor raising concern for impaired fertility or development, and increased risk for certain cancers, itching burning and blistering of skin, gastrointestinal or liver toxicity hazard. A close cousin of benzoic acid: poisonous and moderately toxic. Found in body products.

PVC/ polyvinyl chloride
When produced or burned, this common plastic releases dioxins, may cause cancer, affect immune and reproductive systems.

Quaternium-7, 15, 31, 60 etc.
Toxic, causes skin rashes and allergic reactions. Formaldehyde releasers. Substantive evidence of casual relation to leukemia, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers. Found in body products.

Sodium Chloride
Table salt (processed at high heat). Eye irritation, some hair loss, and dry and itchy skin. Found in shampoo as a thickener.

Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate
Potentially contaminated with or breaking down into chemicals linked to cancer or other significant health problems. Found in facial moisturizer, facial cleanser, facial treatments, skin fading and lightening products, anti-aging products, eye makeup remover, concealer, makeup remover, around eye cream, acne treatment, shampoo, conditioner, styling lotion and gel, styling mousse and foam, hair spray, hair relaxer, tanning oil and sunscreen, after tanning products, body cleanser and wash, body exfoliants, body firming lotion, baby soap, baby lotion, baby wipes, baby bubble bath, pain and wound products, hand sanitizer.

Sodium Nitrite
Makes meat look red rather than gray, and gives meat an overly long shelf life of months. Clinically proven to cause leukemia, brain tumors and other forms of cancer.

Soy
Contains several naturally occurring compounds that are toxic to humans and animals. Soy foods block calcium and can cause vitamin D deficiencies. One health agency estimates than 100 grams of soy protein provides the estrogenic equivalent of the pill. Processing and all modern soy foods contain MSG, which cause neurological problems. Soy products inhibit thyroid function, which may lead to fatigue and mental issues. Infants on soy formula are vulnerable to developing autoimmune thyroid disease when exposed to high amounts of isoflavones over time. These Isoflavones have been found to have serious health effects, including infertility, thyroid disease or liver disease, on a number of mammals. Long term feeding with soy formulas inhibits thyroid peroxidase to such an extent that long term elevated thyroid stimulating hormone levels can also raise the risk of thyroid cancer. It is said that two glasses of soy milk a day over the course of a month contains enough of the chemical to change the timing of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Only eat soy if it has been fermented: such as soy, misu and tamari and if it is labeled as organic or non-GMO. 

SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate)
Builds up in heart, lungs, brain and liver from skin contact and may cause damage to these organs. Corrodes hair follicles and may cause hair to fall out. Damages immune system. Contain endocrine disruptors and estrogen mimics. Impairs proper structural formation of young eyes. May contain carcinogenic nitrosamines. This is a detergent derived from coconut oil and may be labeled natural or even organic. Found in toothpaste, soap, shampoo, body wash, bubble bath, facial cleansers.

SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate)
Ether mixtures may contain carcinogenic nitrosamines. Avoid ethoxylated compounds as a precaution. May form 1.4 dioxane, a potential carcinogen, endocrine disruptor and estrogen mimic. Allows other chemicals to penetrate skin more deeply and enter bloodstream. May cause hair loss when applied to scalp. Found in shampoo, toothpaste, bubble bath, body wash, soap.

Stearalkonium Chloride
Toxic and causes allergic reactions. Used in hair conditioners.

Sulfites
Can cause reactions in asthmatics, and lead to death. Sulphites are now banned on all foods except raw potatoes, wine and dried fruit.

Talc
Carcinogenic when inhaled, may result in fallopian tube fibrosis. Found in blush, condoms, baby powder, feminine powders, foot and body powders.

Thimerol
At one time in most vaccines for children. Still believed to be in many vaccines. This form of organic mercury, functions as a preservative. It is highly toxic as it metabolizes into methylmercury.

TEA: Tea, Triethanolamine
TEA causes allergic reactions including eye problems, dryness of hair and skin, and could be toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period of time. These chemicals are already restricted in Europe due to known carcinogenic effects (although still in use in the U.S.) Repeated skin applications of DEA-based detergents resulted in a major increase in the incidence of liver and kidney cancer. Found in shampoos, skin cream, bubble bath, shaving gel, conditioner, lotions.

Toluene
Poison to humans. Hallucinations, bone marrow changes, may cause liver and kidney damage and birth defects, endocrine disruptor and potential carcinogen linked to brain cancer. Irritates respiratory tract. Found in nail polish and cleaning products.

Triclosan
Found in a lot of antimicrobial soaps and toothpaste products, it can react with chlorine in the tap water to create Chloroform. This is a toxic chemical that can give you cancer. If you breathe enough chloroform, you will die. When you wash your hands with antibacterial soap that contains Triclosan, you are getting the fumes emitted from this chemical reaction.

Vinyl chloride
Used to create PVC (polyvinyl chloride) a known carcinogen. Often found in toys. Children chewing on toys can release toxins into their bodies. * see PVC

Zinc Stearate
Carcinogen. Found in blush and powder foundation

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Disclaimer: All the information shared on this post is because of social concern and we are just sharing the information which is available in the internet. We have not done any scientific research on these chemical compounds. However, we sincerely advise people to give a serious consideration before using any of these things and do your own analysis. Prevention is better than Cure !

Courtesy and Source : http://www.purezing.com/