Target: Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration
Goal: Demand that US fast food restaurants and processed food companies stop using dangerous food additives banned throughout the world
Popular US fast food chains, including McDonald’s and Pizza Hut, commonly use ingredients that are banned in other developed nations throughout the world. With over sixty percent of Americans overweight, and one third – including children – battling obesity, these ingredients cannot be allowed in our foods. According to Food Babe, the number of obese Americans is expected to rise by 10 percent over the next 10 years. Even more frightening, over 40 percent of Americans will likely get cancer at some point in their lives. Dangerous chemical food additives are partially responsible for these numbers.
Experts believe food marketing discourages nutritional education among America’s most overweight communities. Many believe that items labeled “diet” or “low-fat” are healthier than their caloric alternatives. However, many of these foods contain cancer-causing chemicals that make them extremely unhealthy. Not only fast food companies, but also soda companies (think Mountain Dew) and processed food companies including Kellogg’s and Betty Crocker, are to blame for this epidemic. In advertising campaigns, these corporations claim to care about obesity while selling some of the most unhealthy food products known to man.
In the United Kingdom, citizens enjoy many of the same brand-name foods as Americans, but companies are required to use different ingredients because many dangerous additives are banned in the UK. To fight obesity and chemically-induced cancer in the US, we must fight the food industry and its lackadaisical stance toward community health. We must insist that food companies and fast food restaurants not use banned chemicals and additives that contribute to an alarming rate of obesity, cancer, and other diseases in the US.
Dear Ms. Hamburg,
Companies like McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Kellogg’s, Betty Crocker, Gatorade, and Mountain Dew, among others, frequently use unhealthy and unnatural food additives that are banned in developed countries throughout the world. These include brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, azodicarbonamide, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). These are known toxins, linked by experts to both obesity and cancer. Moreover, they are found most often in foods eaten by children and lower-income individuals.
As America’s food watchdog, the FDA must take a firm stance against these chemicals. Research shows that American obesity will increase by 10 percent over the next 10 years, and as many as 40 percent of Americans will have cancer at some point in their lives. I urge you to ban these food additives in the United States and protect the American public against disease epidemics.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Evan-Amos via Wikimedia