Potassium Bromate In Your Flour And Baked Goods Causes Cancer
Did you know that in the United States there is a likelihood that a carcinogen named “potassium bromate” is in your flour or some of the baked goods that you buy?
This same ingredient is banned around the world, including in China!
Why then does the United States allow its use?
This is all the more reason to mill your own flour and bake your own goods…
Some of the flour and baked goods sold in the United States has been treated with potassium bromate, a known carcinogen.
Potassium bromate is a flour “improver” that strengthens dough.
It bleaches dough, enhances its elasticity, and makes for the formation of tiny, thin-walled bubbles as the bread rises. The end product is fluffy, soft and unnaturally white.
Why is potassium bromate used?
Bromate enables a lower cost of baking.
It essentially causes the flour to bulk up quicker, strengthens the dough, and makes bread rise more rapidly.
Logically, it would also enable use of a lower quality flour while reinforcing with bromate.
Ask yourself this…
Would a business take advantage of a lower cost of baking to increase their profit margin?
Might more bromate than the ‘recommended limits’ be used to increase margin?
With no restriction forbidding such use, would they not take advantage of it?
Why has it not been banned in the U.S.?
According to a 2013 report, “Potassium Bromate: Bread Conditioner Causes Cancer, Banned in UK” from DecodedScience.com
Potassium bromate has been banned in many countries including the United Kingdom in 1990 and Canada in 1994 – that’s more than 19 years ago!
Potassium bromate has been linked to cancer in laboratory animals, but we still use it in breads and baked goods here in the States.
Apparently when it is applied within the prescribed limits (15-30ppm), it is completely used up during the bake, and leaves no trace in the finished product. However, if too much is used, or the bread is not baked long enough or at a high enough temperature, then a potentially harmful amount will remain.
Since there was inadequate human evidence, potassium bromate is listed as a ‘Group2B’. This means that it possibly causes cancer in humans. Since we don’t have any long-term studies on humans, we don’t know the long term health effects for people. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that it’s a probable cause for cancer, but cannot officially determine the cancer risk due to the lack of studies conducted on humans.
According the the National Institutes of Health, the toxicity and carcinogenicity of Potassium Bromate is as follows…
The agent is carcinogenic in rats and nephrotoxic in both man and experimental animals when given orally.
It has been demonstrated that KBrO3 (Potassium Bromate) induces renal cell tumors, mesotheliomas of the peritoneum, and follicular cell tumors of the thyroid.
In addition, experiments aimed at elucidating the mode of carcinogenic action have revealed that KBrO3 is a complete carcinogen, possessing both initiating and promoting activities for rat renal tumorigenesis.
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound too good…
“The U.S. FDA hasn’t banned potassium bromate, but it apparently does advise moderate use only and proper labeling.”
Did you catch that? “advise”? The FDA does not “require” proper labeling or moderate use. This implies that you cannot rely on an ingredient label showing you that the product contains potassium bromate, or has been ‘brominated’.
(California has declared bromate a carcinogen under the state’s Proposition 65.)
Who uses it and who doesn’t?
Brominated flour may be in your grocery store and is still widely used in restaurants, bakeries, and is found in many fast food rolls, buns, and pizza dough, while some commercial brands have replaced potassium bromate with other dough-enhancing additives.
I’ve read that apparently General Mills, makers of Pillsbury and Gold Medal brand flours, offers no less than 22 different brominated flours at its “professional baking solutions” site.
Some major brands of flour include both bromated and unbromated products.
On its website, Whole Foods lists bromated flour and potassium bromate as “unacceptable ingredients for food” and sells no foods containing them.
King Arthur Flour does not use pottasium bromate.
Some national pizza chains such as Domino’s and Pizza Hut don’t use it.
If the packaging doesn’t say it, or if you’re eating at a restaurant or ‘fast food’, or buying from a bakery, there’s no way to know for sure if potassium bromate has been used.
Do check the labeling and ingredients though – in the event that the manufacturer did choose to indicate it, or ASK them…
These foods may be perfectly safe having been used within ‘limits’, but as an end-user there’s no way to know for sure of any residual amount.
The only way to know for sure… is to mill your own flour yourself – straight from wheat kernels. Not only is consuming organic wheat flour much more healthy, the raw wheat kernels (prior to milling) will store for decades and is perfect for survival-preparedness long term storage. Learning to make your own bread and baked goods from scratch is a staple skill for anyone interested in prepping. Whenever I discover some new reason to avoid store-bought ‘processed’ foods, it brings me back to the basics… Do it yourself. It’s the only way you’ll know what went inside the food you eat…
The last that I heard, there are more than 15,000 ingredients that do not have to be posted in the ingredient list of your food.
If you have that list, I would be curious to have a copy or a link to that data. Thanks.
did you ever get that list?
one I do know, is now in lots of food, is something called (loosely)
it is not only used for meat products (nowdays), but for many food stuffs. it is used to make things “stick together”, or to make pleasing shapes. as for example, in processed meat products (sausage/hotdogs/sausage), but more surprisingly, it is used to take scraps or pieces of meat (all kinds) and make it look like a whole “genuine” piece of meat.
“Meat Glue” is made from a “natural” blood product, containing amongst a few other ingredients (it’s been a while since I researched it), Thrombin. (Thrombin is strongly implicated in “blood clots” and associated conditions – stroke / heart attack / embolism).
“Meat Glue” has not/ does not gone through ANY FDA or any other country “safety” testing. This is because it is made from parts of a product already accepted in to use as GRAS (blood products of animals we currently eat – beef/pork / whatever).
Once a product is “glued together” with meat glue, you will not be able to discern “Meat Glued” product from product naturally in said shape. There are companies, in fact, in U.S./Canada/Britain/all over which sell special molds to put a slurry of meat glue/fats/meat bits into said mold, and looks like a genuine piece of meat.
I have heard that restaurants even (for yrs and yrs) make use of “Meat Glue” to glue together bits of meat to make higher end looking steaks – Filet, etc.
I have heard that bags of “Meat Glue” have warnings on them “If breathed in, get immediate medical treatment” – can glue lungs together.
If you go to google images, and put in Meat Glue, there comes up a ton of products made with this, and golly gee, they look like the “real deal”.
Another thing to note is that manufacturers used to add iodine to flour prior to the bromine being added. Iodine helps your thyroid to function. Bromine is a goitergen and inhibits your thyriod which then leads to cancer. If you are hypothyroid or have a thyroid disorder, you will want to avoid bromine.
Its been banned in Nigeria… What does that tell you!?!?
Do you know of any brands that list their flours as NON bromated? Just curious if there are ANY that are known safe to buy as currently I am not in a position to grind my own flour (but am now going to work towards that end!!!)
Foods purchased in California that contain Potassium bromate must bear a warning label. Other than living there, some companies sell purposed flour with a label like, “Non Bromated Flour” or “No Potassium Bromate” or similar, so you could look for that labeling at your grocery store.
Gold Medal now sells Unbromated in a golden yellow bag.
However, only one Target store I know sells it.
And we buy em up!
Bob’s Red Mill in Milwaukie Oregon labels and sells “UNBROMATED FLOUR”
I just saw a YouTube video lecture that stated Pepperidge Farms does not use four that contains it and I read that King Arthur Flour does not contain it.
King Arthur flour is not bromated. Also the flour called Pollyanna (a pastry and pir flour) is also not bromated. This is what I buy.
I just sent an email to King Arthur asking whether they use bromine. Here is their reply (which, I might add, came in less than 5 minutes from when I sent the question!!)
Thank you for contacting us here at King Arthur Flour and for your interest in our products. The difference between unbleached flour and bleached flour is dramatic. Bleaching is a refining process used by mills to increase the speed at which flour ages and to change its color to white (flour is naturally yellowish). Flour needs to be aged to improve its baking qualities. Flour will mature naturally given sufficient time. Bleached flour has chemical additives that adversely affect the taste, consistency of baking, and nutrition of the flour. It is a way for mills to cut corners and improve profits while diminishing the value of the flour. Bleaching flour is illegal in the European Union and Canada. King Arthur Flour is aged naturally to preserve original color and natural baking qualities.
To further “improve” flour, mills add a bromate to flour. Bromate is an oxidizer that decreases mixing times. The primary concern regarding the use of bromates in baking is its demonstrated link to cancer in laboratory animals. It was first found to induce tumors in rats in 1982. Bromating flour is illegal in the European Union, Canada, Nigeria, Brazil, Peru, Sri Lanka, South Korea and China. California declared bromate a carcinogen in 1991 and required carcinogen labeling of products containing bromate. The FDA urges bakers to voluntarily stop using bromates. King Arthur Flour is not bromated and never has been.
King Arthur Flour has had the slogan, “Never Bleached, Never Bromated,” for over 223 years. We never cut corners with our flour. King Arthur Flour is milled to the strictest specifications in the industry. You can bake with confidence because we give you the highest quality.
Thank you for contacting us. You can find out more about our unbleached, unbromated flours at KingArthurFlour.com.
King Arthur Flour
dude this is it (not to be confused with the troll dude the other day…)
Thanks for posting this. There’s some very interesting facts in their reply. When we do purchase flour we have been purchasing King Arthur for this very reason…
dude this is it
My flour I have will take to the food pantry or toss. I am switching to King Arthur flour only. Thank you for the information you provided, will let my family members know. Now I am sorry I did not pick up that big bag at the Cash & Carry that was discounted.
I’m still trying to figure out if REDUCED IRON, which is in pretty much all our processed foods, bread, cereals…. is bad??? If I gave you a bowl full of small little metal shavings, would you eat it? Again, I was on Youtube, ha! and saw on the side of Related Videos, “Your Cereal Can Kill You”, something like that… ok, curiosity killed the cat… I watched it… Now, it seems, I spend all my time at the store reading labels…. ya’ll look that one up…
I’ve said jokingly to folks… didn’t God say after the flood, we could live to be @ 113… just how many 113 year old do you see walking around? Gov’t couldn’t afford that…
It is definitely a great idea to read the labels. ALWAYS ignore the front of the box marketing BS. Did you know that the ‘Ingredients List’ (which is required) lists the ingredients in the order of their percentage? In other words if there is more Corn Syrup in a product than Sodium, it will be listed before it, etc.
Last year, I noticed the major cereal brands SMELLED CHEMICALLY when I opened the box…after box…after box.
So i took them back to the store and returned them ALL.
They can spray the INNER BOX LINING with insecticide, pesticide, and DONT HAVE TO LABEL IT because its not an ingredient.
Now, my canned baked beans also have that chemically smell AND taste…
The future is looking more like eating sprouts and garden weeds, lol.
when do they mix potassium bromide, is it during flour processing or when they make the bread. If during flour process that means all flour in the store have it?
It is mixed in with the flour to improve the dough’ strength, the height of its rise, and spring consiatency. . Check out kingarthurflour.com to read about it in more detail.
Oops! Pleas excuse the typos. It’s 6:50 am – late or early depending on how you look at it.
In other countries, they say ‘this has not been shown to be safe, therefore we don’t allow it”
In the US, they say ‘this has not been shown to be unsafe, therefore we allow it’.
Mostly they are added to increase the profits of the growers and the manufacturers.
This is very disturbing….
Especially the meat glue….wow.
yup. since I have learned about that, if I do go to a restaurant, I stick to chicken wings, or in a pinch, something with big bone in it. I am thinking the chicken wings would be hard to fake. back when I was researching it, I was truly shocked at the many things they created fr pieces. a big item was pricey cuts of meat. but, they also mentioned shrimp, even. I saw some pics, and gotta say, these molds are genius, as they end looking very genuine. I read about some various “recipes”, where they talked about mixing various amounts/kinds of fats, at certain times in the process, to make it appear “normally” marbled, etc.
Careful with the chicken wings… my mother in law told me a story of a good friend of hers that was diagnosed with a certain type of cancer. When she was back from her follow up visit with the cancer specialist, he mentioned to her that she must like chicken wings. She asked why he would say that (since it was true and he had no way of knowing) and he replied that the type of cancer she has is typical if you eat a lot of the chicken wings since that is where they inject the growth hormone etc. into the chicken. Gotta stick with the organic wings I guess…
Anonymous…OMG… if it is not one thing, it is another.
do you recall what type of cancer? (if I can ask).
At any rate, thank you for the warning. it is appreciated. Right now, probably not needed, as don’t eat them much, now. only once in while at home. and, do not go to restaurant often, so do not eat them much out, either.
more and more, I feel it is obscene, what is done to our food.
OMG this is so bogus. They do not inject chickens with growth hormone. Chicken wings don’t cause cancer. If a health professional ever told me something like this I would probably turn him in to the hospital that they worked for/with.
Bromine is in the same chemical family as fluorine, chlorine, and iodine. These all have only 7 electrons in their outer electron orbit making them highly electronegative and very reactive. Our bodies need iodine and chlorine, and in fact we would die without them. We have no known need for fluorine or bromine. Yet the government and the medical establishment seems to be working to limit the amount of chlorine and iodine we get, but have no problem with dosing us with fluorine and bromine.
Because of their chemical similarity, these elements compete for the receptor cites in our cells that are designed for iodine. This is why we should never consume anything with fluorine or bromine. These two drive iodine out of our bodies with the result that we can’t make sufficient thyroid hormone. There is a correlation between iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, atrial fibrillation, and type II diabetes among other metabolic diseases. This is because our metabolism is slowed as the mitochondria in our cells malfunction, and cell growth and replacement fails from lack of iodine.
As well as being used by bakers, bromine is also used as part of pesticides and is even sprayed on fresh vegetables by grocers to keep them from spoiling. You are probably breathing bromine fumes right now since they are on electronic circuit boards. You may be sleeping on a mattress treated with chemicals containing bromine that are used as flame retardants (mandated by the federal government).
flame retarants in kids pjs will mess up their hormones… we just get colored or printed long johns that are not treated since they are not sleepwear. the kids don’t mind and they are comfy…
No wonder everyone is sick all the time and cancer is literally everywhere. I bet there is not many people that cancer has not touched a person in their family.
I don’t know if it is the same type of thing, but I have seen Brominated vegetable oil in certain things such as Mountain Dew soda.
It IS the same thing and it is also in other citrus based soft drinks. I have started on a regemine of iodine supplementation and I was amazed at how much better I feel. It helps rid the body of toxins. I also don’t eat any bread that has potassium bromate. Don’t swim in clorinated pools. BTW.. it is cloride that we need not clorine.
The meat glue business or pink slime in hamburger… One more very good reason that my freezer is filled with white packages from the butcher and ziplock bags from animals I process myself. I know you city dwellers can not do that but I am proud to say after feed and butchering my beef (9 months old) cost me 1.39 a pound. And there is no glue, no hormones, no antibiotics (I reacted badly to an Arby’s roast beef sandwhich one time), Only Chicken, rabbit, pork and beef!
good for you. I agree entirely. nowadays, I / we try to eat as much grassfed organic beef as possible. get chickens mostly from a trusted source etc. I can tell you that not all organic (certified or not) is created equal. years back, due to health concerns we were eating straight organic meat/chicken from an organic store. the chicken/turkey was indeed certified organic. VERY pricey. I had two occasions, one with a chicken/one with a turkey (same brand), where, my family had a couple bites, and would not eat anymore. they didn’t seem to think it was rotten or anything (thnk I would have noticed that), however, would not/could not eat anymore. I had a few bites and got very very sick. gave (each time) plateful to my meat loving large dog, and both times he sniffed it and looked reproachfully at me as if “how could I give him this?”.. Dog refused to eat it as well. each time I took it back to the store, and told them what happened… they ASSURRED me there could not be anything wrong/no chemicals, but both times quickly gave me back my money.
yup, the way you do it is the BEST
For 15 years or so, I’ve been allergic to what I thought was wheat…I’ve had various allergy elimination treatments, but the allergy problem would come back after a period of time.
Then, I discovered I could eat the homemade hamburger bun at my favorite museum in Los Angeles. I went to the chef there and asked what kind of flour they used and they told me “King Arthur” So, I started buying it. Recently, however, I could no longer find “No bromine added” on the package.
There are urban legends here that the ruling rich want to reduce the world’s population to 500 million!!!!! Could it be that King Arthur flour company has been forced to add bromine? Inquiring minds want to know. Anyone know?
maybe you could call/email King Arthur flour company and ask.
also, by law, for the past fifty yrs or so, Iron has been added to all flour. that may sound good, but, any excess Iron is catastrophic in the body, as the body has no natural way to get rid of excess iron, and stores it in organs,heart/liver/brain, causing disease. If you eat a couple of sandwhiches a day, you get your daily iron limit. never mind the fillings/cereal/meats/etc. – that would be extra.
if the thought of bromine added concerns/sickens one (and it likely should),
what about this…
Subway to remove ‘yoga mat’ chemical from bread
First posted: Thursday, February 06, 2014 11:40 AM EST | Updated: Thursday, February 06, 2014 02:39 PM EST
The sandwich restaurant chain Subway has started to remove a chemical called azodicarbonamide from its bread, which is said to be used to increase elasticity in shoe rubber and yoga mats.
The chemical is also a food additive, used to improve and bleach flour.
“We are already in the process of removing azodicarbonamide as part of our bread improvement efforts,” Subway Canada said in a statement to QMI Agency. “The complete conversion to have this product out of the bread will be done soon.”
Subway is also removing the chemical south of the border
A petition on the website FoodBabe.com says azodicarbonamide is used in North American restaurants, but not in Europe or Australia.
I am so glad that I make my own bread from scratch – from the wheat berries through a flour mill, etc. I know exactly what’s in it. It’s amazing what you find out about ‘additives’ to one’s processed foods…
you are wise to make your own. I have read quite a bit on this blog that you have printed about mills, etc.. I think, it is going to be a goal for me, by the end of the year, to get a mill, and wheat berries, and give this a try myself.
I remember, when I first learned about the Iron added (by law) to all flour sold in North America, I went to a health food store, and as far as they knew, they said theirs was the same.
also, besides the above mentioned adds, I do know that in the past year or so, I have read several articles, radio programs, where they discuss other things which are added, of course for the public’s health.
it was quite a variety of additives, and from what I recall, did not even include the ones discussed above.
YUP. I think you are smart to make your own. I am going to work on that process, myself.
Good for you! Excellent. I have two flour mills, one electric and one hand-crank. As you might guess – I use the electric… but I do have (and have used) the hand-crank backup just in case. Making your own bread is actually a fun thing in that you can experiment with all sorts of recipes and ingredients. The best thing – it’s much healthier, and it prepares us for a time in which we might need to make our own when you can’t find it in the grocery store (SHTF).
You’re right. Google the Bilderberg group. They meet in “private.” Though nothing they discuss is public. All super elite rich of the world. And that is the number they’re shooting for 500mil. They’re poisoning us through our food, medicine and drinking water.
Anyone eating Ezekiel Bread? I wonder if it has bromine in it. It’s supposed to be made from the sprouts of five different grains.
I’ve gone on a “no whites” diet greatly reducing my intake of anything white….potato, bread, pastry…anything made of wheat….no more sandwiches….and have lost 20 pounds in the last three months.
I’m eating more wraps with tuna; shrimp salads and some chicken.
Peanuts and apples for snacks…
I’ve just read all comments and not surprised. For what it’s worth, I’m from S.Africa, been here for 35 years and still can’t get used to local shop bread. Most folks from Europe say the same thing – paper bread, flavorless, no consistency and causes constipation. Has anyone ever notice the moldy smell around bread shelves in the supermarkets? One day I asked a manager what it was, she said it’s a chemical added to increase shelf life. Guess I must have sounded rude when I replied “WHAT” ? Other countries buy bread fresh everyday, yesterday’s bread is sold at a reduced price it begins to harden and is used for crumbs or toast. Milk goes bad after 2 days even when kept in the fridge. Fruits and veggies are fresh, without chemicals. You have to wash salads not to get rid of chemical, but because you might find a little extra protein you weren’t expecting. Root crops still have garden soil and again you have to wash well because of the natural extra protein. In other words, you know they are not spraying or treating the soil with chemicals. I maintain, obesity here is not purely eating, but all the added chemicals. Example . today I went looking for buttermilk .. all I could find was a by-product of what was once milk with a long list of additives. For heavens sake.. buttermilk is nothing more than natural sour milk thickened naturally by living enzymes in milk. makes me wonder if milk is milk anymore. ??? Couldn’t find any natural cheeses either .. all processed and tastes like rubber. What are they doing to our food ???
I have to say…I work in a commercial bakery. Besides a couple cherry angiomas, which I have had for a long time, I’m noticing new ones. Turns out, its not genetic. Rather, you may have a genetic PREDISPOSITION…to develop them as a result of bromine poisoning. A chemical so widely used, it leaves a red dot trail (literally) as the body desperately tries to get it away from organs, and even adipose tissue…and isolate I’m harmless little red skin tumors.
I have these all over. I also have Hashimoto’s (which feels like a fish is slowing picking away at my throat glands every day. It’s very painful.) and Dystonic conditions. Both autoimmune disorders.
I’ve just found out about bromates, and your post was a God-smack. I’m trying to go all-organic. My throat did stop hurting. Coincidence?
I’m ASKING bakeries who uses bromates flour. Most do.
I’m wondering how I can get a little FOOD in my food?!
I’m also finding that undeveloped countries DO NOT HAVE THESE AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS. Our country is making us all sick with the garbage in our water, soil, packaging and supposed FOOD.
Mad as hell.
found your site while checking up on a claim by Whole Foods… they have a bread I’ve come to love. They say they use what is now called ‘slo dough’ (no bromates in their flour), so today I read the label carefully… sure the flour in unbromated, but they also have ‘dough conditioner’ as an ingredient, which is a covert phrase for PBromate… so, they’re not using flower that contains it, but they’re adding it anyway. I am actually pretty flipped out at this misrepresentation!
This type of thing is unfortunately ‘typical’ in my opinion, of the deceit which is rampant in so many industries… playing games with labels and marketing, versus the product itself. This is yet another reason why it is beneficial to do as much ‘from scratch’ that you can (as in mill your own flour from wheat berries).
Thanks for everyone’s input. I appreciate the info!
I have been very sick for over 15 years…I have been to every holistic healer and allergist…(I do not believe in traditional doctors and consider them fools…and I do not believe in pharmaceuticals ever). But, anyone I’ve met with has had a different opinion…I’ve been told I was celiac, told I had small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, candida, cancer, ovarian cysts, diabetes, kidney failure, IBS…suffice to say, it has been a “wild journey” to “nowhere” really – because, as it turned out…everyone was completely wrong!! I have taken Mastica, Holy Basil, activated charcoal, DGL, bentonite clay, manuka honey, cinnamon bark extract…and the list goes on – all to no avail. Yes, I am fructose intolerant – that i have determined by trial and error – any fruit or vegetable (including something as mild as corn starch) sets off a bad reaction. I also have an allergy to mycotoxins- so I must avoid all nuts, coffee, tea, yeast, and olives…they all contain fungus and mold. I also cannot have anything fermented – such as malted barley flour or cheese or vinegar. Also, I am violently allergic to cane sugar (it has a completely different molecular structure than beet sugar), rice, tapioca, palm oil, and cottonseed oil. I also do not eat meat or poultry because the few times I have tried either one, I react to whatever was in the animal’s blood – not only does the idea nauseate me, but I don’t know whether the animal was sick – regardless if they received antibiotics and were raised “cage-free”… which is usually worse by the way because their living conditions are never inspected! HOWEVER, I kept thinking, despite what anyone emphatically told me, that I CAN still eat wheat…I began ordering pasta from Europe which is not treated with pesticides as the U.S. so flagrantly does…and I was fine! Next, I began looking into flours – any flour that was bleached made me violently ill…so I started baking with unbleached flours (I also cannot use baking powder or baking sod because of all the phosphate additive chemicals) …so baking on my own (just using butter and eggs and yogurt for leavening) was the last viable option. However, I was still sick each time I baked…UNTIL I STATRED BAKING WITH UNBROMATED AND UNBLEACHED FLOUR! Now – so glad to say – I have no problems whatsoever. The dangers of bromine are nothing short of terrifying…and the FDA should close its door forever – they are virtually useless in my opinion and lie to the public. Bromine has been in use in our country since 1914…it is now 2016…meanwhile, it is banned everywhere else in the world!! California even labels their baked goods with a statement that warns, “this flour has been bromated…and bromine is a known cancer-causing agent”. I intend to start a blog because i have been down a very long road with my health issues…but I’ve emerged on the other side just fine – all because of my commitment to finding what the real culprits are. All the best to each of you who are reading this.