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BEE AWARE GLOSSARY
Manufactured from genetically modified bacteria, aspartame is an artificial sweetener used by many, though its use has been controversial.
Bisphenol A (BPA)
BPA is a chemical produced in large quantities for use primarily in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins; human exposure to the chemical is widespread. Some scientific studies have observed developmental effects in newborn and very young laboratory animals given small amounts of BPA. Scientists have recently looked for associations between BPA exposure and health effects in the general population. Some studies have reported associations between elevated BPA exposure and health effects such as diabetes or heart disease, while other studies have not.
Blue, Green, Red, And Yellow dyes
Over 90% of food dyes are now synthetic and their use is pervasive in the products we eat every day. Further, “repeated studies have concluded that modest doses of synthetic colours added to foods can provoke hyperactivity and other disturbed behavior in children.”
Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)
Though the FDA states BHA, a food preservative, is ‘generally recognized as safe”, the National Institute of Health deems BHA “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” BHA is typically found in potato chips, lard, butter, cereal, instant mashed potatoes, preserved meat, beer, baked goods, dry beverage and dessert mixes, chewing gum, and other foods. While it’s proven safe in low doses, there are food products that choose not to include it.
Carrageenans are a family of linear sulphated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds. They are widely used in the food industry, for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties. While some indicate that carrageenan safely passes through rat GI tracts without adverse effect when it is a dietary ingredient, other animal dietary studies have disputed its safety.
Dairy (GMO and non-organic)
Studies have shown that organic and Non-GMO dairy products are more nutritious than their conventional counterparts. This is most likely attributed to the fact that cows fed Non-GMO and organic feeds/greens, rather than GMO grain feeds, produce healthier milk.
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFC or HFCS)
A fructose-glucose liquid sweetener alternative first introduced to the food and beverage industry in the 1970s. In order to make HFCS, producers utilize a long list of chemicals used to convert corn starch into fructose and glucose. Most of the corn used to make HFCS is genetically modified.
A GMO, or genetically modified organism, is a plant, animal, microorganism or other organism whose genetic makeup has been modified using recombinant DNA methods (also called gene splicing), gene modification or transgenic technology. This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods. Visit the What is GMO page for more information and a list of high-risk crops.
Sodium Nitrates and Sodium Nitrites
Generally used as meat preservatives, it’s recommended that their consumption be spare. Both have been linked to heart disease and gastrointestinal cancer.
What is a Certified Organic Product?
A product can be certified organic if it has been certified by an accredited certification body that it meets the Canadian Organic Standards. Any product label that displays the Canada organic logo or claims the product has 70 percent or more organic ingredients must include the name of the certification body that certified it.