We may not realize that the white Bimbo bread our parents or grandparents prior to the 1970s ate was healthier than the rustic bread we are eating nowadays!
This is because iodite bread conditioners were widely used during that period. Unfortunately, some corrupt doctors scared other well-meaning doctors and the public in general away from using iodine with the publication of the Wolff–Chaikoff effect in 1948. As usual in the business of western medicine, research is never done for noncommercial purposes. The medical industry needed people to reduce the amount of iodine as it interfered with the effectiveness of patented radioactive iodine. Iodide was gradually faced out of bread, and patented bromide took its place. Bromide competes for the same receptors in the body as iodine does, this was therefore a double whammy for the US population resulting in skyrocketing breast and prostate cancer.
Due to this false research by Dr. Wolff, Iodine was vilified. Until that time, bakers had been fortifying bread using potassium iodide. However, once the falsified research done by Dr. Wolff called the Wolff–Chaikoff effect was published, bakers gradually stopped using potassium iodide as bread conditioners in bread baking. So, what did the bakers replace iodine with? Potassium bromide. Bromine competes for receptors in the body with iodine. In other words, you cannot absorb iodine if you have lots of bromine in your body.
Not only was this false report gaining quick attraction, but now when any drug was ingested having iodine in it, the Iodine itself was blamed for any side effects of the drug. In contrast, the drug was attributed to the relief.
As it happens with any conspiracy, once it was made public, people ran with it, and now multiple diseases are being attributed to the use of iodine. Many researchers were publishing their own accounts of any Iodine “side effects” they may have witnessed. Iodine was now responsible for thyroiditis, thyroid cancer, Grave’s disease, low-grade hypothyroid, etc.
This was extremely harmful to the general public as people started to cut out Iodine from their diets and ended up developing various ailments caused by Iodine deficiency, namely goiter. Iodine deficient women were also more prone to breast cancer. This iodophobia was rearing its ugly head at the health of countless people just trying to stay healthy all due to the fabrication of research.
Breast Cancer Epidemic
Most people don’t talk about it, but breast cancer in women is the new epidemic raging across America. 1 in every 8 U.S. women is diagnosed with breast cancer, and the growing numbers are astonishing. But why isn’t anyone talking about it? Why aren’t people worried about this silent and deadly killer that is after our sisters, mothers, and daughters?
To understand what went wrong, we need to take a look at the events of the past. Until the 1960s, iodate bread conditioners were widely used to prolong the shelf life and freshness of bread. But then Wolff–Chaikoff was published, and a conspiracy started. A deliberate attempt to push our country into the throes of disease and disability. Because of the concerns raised by Wolff–Chaikoff, commercial bakers grew wary. The false concerns mentioned by Wolff–Chaikoff pressured commercial bakers to replace iodate bread conditioners. This eventually led to the reduction of dietary iodine levels from the 1970s to the early 1990s.
The lie Wolff–Chaikoff spun has led many people down the path of death and disability. As it turned out, iodide fortification provided the much-needed iodine women needed not to develop cysts and breast cancer, up to 150mcg per slice. Bimbo bread may also have saved thousands of men from prostate cancer.
But how did the patented invention of Potassium Bromate (KBrO3) get in the flour? Who put it there and why?
Historically, bakers used oxygen to allow the flour to enhance its elasticity. This meant aging the flour in the open air for weeks. But as commercialization set its roots, nobody had time for that. In 1914, Bromate was discovered and patented as a substitute for oxygen. It did the job faster, and the result was whiter and softer bread. Everybody just loved it, oblivious of the catastrophe it would be in the future. And that future is our present. It eventually overtook potassium iodide in breadmaking.
Rustic bread baked by smaller outfits in the US today may still contain bromated flour. Even Amazon sells bromated flour by General Mills today in 50kg bags. Bakers may prefer it because it’s easier to bake with bromated flour. It increases elasticity and rise and prevents the dough from falling apart. Plus, bromate will keep the flour fresh in that 50kg bag. Therefore ask your baker to show you their 50kg bags of flour!
Banned bread: Why does the US allow additives that Europe says are unsafe?
We all had a favorite place to get our bread. The store would be bustling with people grabbing whatever they needed for breakfast or lunch, and you could smell fresh baked goods in the air as soon as you walked inside. This may be a treasured memory for many. The good old days when we knew what ingredients were in our food. The chemical-free days when we didn’t have to read the ingredient list of everything edible we bought.
Now that people are aware and concerned about what they eat, countries take great measures to ensure the availability of healthy food. Many countries, China, Brazil, and EU members have outlawed the chemicals that are normally found in commercial bread. On the other hand, the U.S. has no such reservations against the deadly bromate.
We now know that potassium iodate was used as a dough conditioner. However, due to oxidizing sulfhydryl groups during the mixing process, the iodate transforms into iodide by the time the finished product reaches the consumers.
At that time, a slice of bread contained the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) of 150 µg. But it didn’t serve the agenda, and so began the deionization of bread. The Wolff-Chaikoff Domino Effect promoted the addition of bromate not only in our food but also in the water supplies. It was all done under the guise of a healthy change, but in reality, it has been nothing but deadly.
Here’s a timeline that explains the events that have led us to this epidemic.
1990: The UK banned bromate laced bread.
1994: Canada followed.
1999: The Center for Science in the Public Interest put forward a petition to FDA. They alleged that FDA had known for years that potassium bromate caused cancer in lab animals and yet did nothing to ban it.
2007: Food Regulation Ministerial Council (FSANZ), Australia, proposed to include iodized salt in bread and breakfast essentials. It is yet to be finalized.
2007: Upon inquiry by the Breast Cancer Choices, the U.S. FDA responded, “Potassium Bromate is still listed as a safe additive.”
This has been FDA’s stance since then.
What Do We Know About Bromine?
Now that we know a little bit of introduction about Bromine it's time to dive into details. The death and destruction of bromide toxicity do not end with bread, bromide is practically everywhere!
First, some of the uses of Bromine are:
- Cell phones
- Baked goods (like bromated flour and iodine-rich foods)
Moreover, another vital thing to know is that potassium bromate is an oxidizing agent similar to potassium iodate. In baking, it can age or raise flour dough more quickly than any other procedure because of this solid ability to oxidize things. Potatoes, for instance, get a boost from Bromates, which helps them turn brown faster. So you have something less tasty but still edible instead. Bromine in bread and flour makes bread look whiter. It is something that everyone likes without thinking about what's inside.\
Toxicity levels of Bromine is exacerbated when breads are not baked at a high enough of a temperature or long enough.
Some other must-know facts about Bromine are as follows.
- Potassium bromate is an ingredient that has been classified as a category 2B carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
- Potassium bromate has been banned in many countries, including the European Union and Brazil. Bromate is also illegal to use within China's borders. It’s banned in South Korea, Nigeria, Argentina, Japan, and Peru. However, the US FDA allows the use of carcinogenic bromate for all ages. It continues to be listed as GRAS (generally recognized as safe). Perhaps, like with patented drugs, private industry has influenced the US health agencies to not ban bromate.
- The FDA has been accused of knowing for years that potassium bromate is a cancer-causing ingredient. Yet they fail to restrict its use in many foods we consume. Many restaurants and small bakeries continue to use bromine.
- Bromate is a known cause of cancer-like tumors in rats. These studies show it can also lead to kidney, thyroid, and other organ cancers.
- Unfortunately, you are best advised to avoid taking iodine from seaweed because of the nuclear accident in Fukushima.
- It's a travesty but FDA recommends just enough iodine to avoid goiter
With the use of potassium bromate, California baked goods were being contaminated with a cancer-causing agent. As a result, from 1991, the bakers had to label the products with "potentially harmful chemicals," which did not sit well with bakeries in this influential state. So they quickly switched over production methods by removing bromate from ingredients.
- Bromate is a chemical used as an antifreeze and dough conditioner for years. However, the popular brands, including Pillsbury, Best Food Inc., Pepperidge Farms, have all refused to use it in their baking products due to the recent bromine poisoning controversy. In addition, people believe its adverse impacts on health over time could cause severe problems like cancer or neurological disorders. So many other companies decided voluntarily to remove bromates from food items. Still, some were left behind, including fast-food chains that continued using these outdated practices.
How Can Bromine Affect Health?
Bromine is a dangerous chemical that can lead to severe health issues in children and adults alike. If bromine reaches toxicity levels in the body then it can cause some serious health issues, which are as follows.
In Children: Those who are exposed to bromine at an early age can experience developmental issues such as delayed cognitive learning and behavior skills.
Mental Health: Those who suffer from Bromism can be diagnosed with a variety of mental disorders. The most common are fatigue, headache, and memory trouble, but they also experience loss in muscle control, among other things.
Kidney Health: Keep your kidneys healthy by staying away from white baked goods. Used as a bleaching agent in flour, potassium bromate is a toxin that can kill human embryonic cells.
Hearing Issues: When tested on animals, potassium bromate was found to cause severe hearing imbalance within the inner ear. It can also lead to a complete loss of hearing.
Thyroid Health: When the thyroid is not functioning properly due to bromate, it can lead to either hypothyroidism (underactive) or hyperthyroidism (overactive).
Carcinogenic: Potassium bromate is a dangerous genotoxin, meaning it causes mutations in cells that may lead to cancer.
In addition, a research article on Integrative Cardiovascular Physiology and Pathophysiology shows Bromine's effects on heart health. It reveals that Bromine inhalation can lead to ischemia-reperfusion cardiomyocyte injury, a type of heart damage. So, it is crucial to keep yourself away from these dangerous fumes and in case of exposure, contact your doctor immediately.
To play it safe, if you are wanting gluten free bread made from wheat, choose whole wheat bread because smaller bakeries may use brominated wheat.
- To find the best whole wheat flour for your recipes, look out for terms such as "100% Whole Wheat" or even just "Whole Grain."
- Avoid products made from bleached and bromated flour, they may not be labeled correctly.
Looking for foods for a healthy diet? It’s best to include bromate-free foods. Also, avoid baked goods made from bleached flour, and read labels carefully.