12 Chemicals You Didn’t Know Were in Your Food

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)

Butylated hydroxyanisole, or BHA, is a food preservative you can find both in your favorite breakfast food and in petroleum products. The National Institutes of Health claims that BHA “is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen;” however, the FDA approved the chemical for use in many food products, including active dry yeast, various types of potato shreds, beverages and desserts prepared from dry mixes, shortening, and dry breakfast cereals.

The FDA claims that BHA is “generally recognized as safe for use in food,” so long as the food meets certain requirements.

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