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6 Common Foods Banned In Countries Around The World

There are several foods that are highly consumed in one part of the world but banned in others.

There could be a number of reasons responsible for the ban ranging from ethical, cultural, personal preference, health, environmental or social reasons.


Listed in this article are some few controversial foods that are illegal in some places but permitted in others.

Chewing gum is banned in Singapore

Chewing gum

Chewing gum | Pinterest

Chewing gum is not actually illegal in Singapore although it is hard to find due to the ban on the sale and import of chewing gum decades ago. As part of its effort to keep public areas free of gum litter, Singapore outlawed the sale and importation of chewing gum in 1992 although the ban was partially lifted in 2004. Only special dental or nicotine chewing gum is allowed.

Ketchup is banned in France


Boy eating ketchup and fries | The Spruce Eats

In 2011, France introduced new nutritional guidelines in schools which included a restriction on ketchup. In an effort to preserve French culinary traditions, students are only allowed to consume ketchup with French fries, which they are served once per week.

Artificial food dyes have been banned in five European countries

Artificial food colouring

Artificial food colouring | Scott Bolster/Shutterstock

Artificial colouring is banned in European countries such as Austria, Finland, France, Norway, and the United Kingdom due to health concerns. Although legal in many other countries, research links artificial food artificial dyes to health problems, including hyperactivity in children.

M&Ms are banned in Sweden


M&Ms | Wikipedia Commons

Owing to a trademark dispute, Sweden banned the sale of M&Ms in 2016. A court ruling in 2016 says that the popular candy’s packaging and marketing too closely resembled that of another chocolate treat — M by Marabou. The latter brand is also marketed using a lowercase “m” and is owned by Mondelez International, which has exclusive trademark rights in Sweden. Technically, M&Ms can still be sold in Sweden if Mars alters its product packaging and marketing, but it does not appear it has done so.

Shark fins are illegal in 12 US states
Due to shrinking global shark population, the United States placed a prohibition on the sale of sharks in 12 states. Shark fins are used in parts of Asia to make shark fin soup but in 2012, China banned the consumption of shark fin soup at state banquets.

Beluga caviar is banned in the US

Beluga caviar

Beluga caviar | Goruppa/ iStock

Beluga caviar is an expensive food item that can command prices of up to $200 per ounce. Iranian beluga caviar is the most expensive type of caviar and consists of the raw eggs of the beluga sturgeon. The ban on beluga caviar in the United States happened in 2005 for environmental reasons as the fish is a critically endangered species.

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