12 Things the FDA Has Banned (for Good Reasons)

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Tonka Extract

Chefs around the world still use tonka extract in various dishes. It comes from tonka beans, which look like raisins, and has the advantage of tasting like vanilla. In fact, it is primarily used as a replacement for natural vanilla.

But, of course, something so delicious also comes with downsides. Tonka beans contain coumarin, a toxin that could be fatal in large enough doses. It is because of this toxin that the FDA has banned the import and use of tonka extract for all uses in food.

Here’s the crazy part. Coumarin derivatives are also used medicinally as an anti-coagulant and can also be used to flavor tobacco! This one ingredient has gone from toxic and dangerous to helpful to downright confusing in the span of a couple of sentences…

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