What Is Sodium Benzoate And Is It Banned In Europe?


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We live in an age where we are constantly being warned about the foods we are consuming. Diets are regularly changing; sugar is good for you one moment and bad for you the next! Fat was unhealthy yesterday and healthy today.

We hear about genetically modified plants and the dangers that they pose to our health. Pesticides and chemicals that cause tumours, serious health risks and other alarming side effects are plaguing us evermore. We are hearing more and more stories of young, healthy people discovering cancer, and it unsettles us all.

It makes us question what we are actually eating, when half of the ingredients listed on the back of our food packaging, we don’t even consider because it’s written in scientific codes. We won’t bother to research these codes later.

Sodium Benzoate seems to be the new chemical on everyone’s mind these days. Or perhaps, like me, this is the first time you’re hearing about it.

Knowing the different names sodium benzoate hides behind, I took a walk through my house to check the ingredients of various products. It appeared in my shampoo, my face wash, my mouthwash, my hair mousse, my sweet chilli sauce, salsa dip, Doritos and my coke zero!

Realizing that there is quite a growing concern around this chemical, I suddenly felt quite uncomfortable about its presence in my household items – items that I typically use every single day. It felt like I had just discovered an unwelcome guest living amidst me!shutterstock_88452055

What is Sodium Benzoate?

Sodium Benzoate is a food preservative that inhibits microbial growth. It is salt derived from benzoic acid. It is used as a preservative in foods, cosmetics and medicines to increase their shelf life.

It has an E number of E211 and can also be identified as benzoate of soda, benzoate, benzoate acid and benzene. As a preservative, it is a bacteriostatic and fungistatic chemical. This means that it simply inhibits the growth of fungus, and or bacteria. Sodium benzoate occurs naturally in some fruits but the problem comes in when the chemical is synthesised in labs and added to various foods and other products.

Where Can It Be Found?

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  1. I have developed an allergic reaction to benzoic acid/benzoate after having caterscts removed from both eyes. The eye drops made my eyelids swell up and copious amounts of mucus collected in my face. I was told to stop using the drops.
    When I had the other cateract done I was given different drops, but these reacted witin a couple of days and the eyelids swelled up. Also more mucus formed in my sinuses and would not deminish.
    Nobody at this point told me what I was allergic to. After two month of more and more mucus in my face and throat I took a teaspoonful of Benylin mucus cough medicine….
    My nose started pouring like a tap,
    I started coughing every few seconds
    …. a dry irritating cough….. after a short while I found it difficult to breath
    and not knowing what it was I took antihistamines for about 6 hours and
    sat up all night. I went to doctors surgery the next day as I had a large lump in my neck. After being sent to hospital I was told this was an enlarged lympth gland.
    Since this incident I have reactions to pessaries, toothpaste etc etc.
    I have asked my GP if she could refer me to someone who can advise me on what I can eat, etc etc. But she said she would look into it …. that was the last I have heard. My life has gone from good to a living hell because of this evil substance. It has to be banned before children are overdosed on it and die of horrific cancer or closed windpipes.

  2. Excellent article. Thank you for the informative post. (It would be great to see references and dat of post, makes it more credible).

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