Food additives give food and cosmetics a longer shelf life, allowing manufacturers to have higher income. Additives are also used to preserve flavor and color. For centuries people used salts, vinegar, herbs, boiling and cooling to preserve food naturally, but in the last 50 years, artificial preservatives have become a common method.
While some food additives and preservatives provide nutritional benefits or improve food safety, others - from colors and flavors to thickeners and bleaches - are added to attract consumers and have known or potential health risks.
It's not unusual for a food additive that was believed to be safe for consumers to see later that it's toxic. Some studies have shown that additives can cause headaches, nausea, weakness and difficulty breathing. New research has shown that the combination of additives and certain foods can harm human nerve cells. The truth is that we do not understand all the long-term effects that additives can cause on human health, because artificial additives are a relatively new invention.
For now, consumers should choose what kind of food they will buy. Additives will not be banned until enough evidence based on research is collected to determine the exact effects they have on the human organism.