The US Customs and Border Protection have banned certain products and things from entering American soil. Products like alcoholic beverages must undergo applicable processing by the state or the US Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. The board specifically imposed that alcohol like Absinthe must be “thujone-free” and that it is only permissible under certain conditions:
The term “absinthe” cannot be the brand name; the term “absinthe” cannot stand alone on the label; and the artwork and/or graphics cannot project images of hallucinogenic, psychotropic, or mind-altering effects. Customs also control the importation of certain prepared foods like cheese, bouillon, and most especially food products that may contain insects.
Take for example rice, as it may contain certain bugs. Casu Marzu or “rotten cheese” is not also permissible as it carries cheese maggots in it. Those are the few items that US Customs will seize at the American border, see the other products that are banned from entering the States.
10- Real Absinthe
Absinthe is also known as “the ultimate psychoactive and hallucinogenic drink.” That’s partly because this drink has a 45–74% alcohol content, way higher than what’s in vodka, rum and whiskey which have a maximum alcohol content of only 40%. But that does not make this anise-flavoured spirit only intoxicating.
The Artemisia absinthium or “grand wormwood,” is the main ingredient to make this drink, which has been blamed for everything from hallucinations to muscle spasms to seizures. Artemisia absinthium contains thujone, a psychoactive chemical that can cause epileptic-like convulsions and kidney failure when ingested in large amounts. In some countries, the spirit was publicly associated with violent crimes and social disorder.
Although the real stuff was banned long ago, the American version of the drink is widely produced and sold, but with a slight twist, or actually a huge one- as the absinthe here should not contain the chemical compound thujone, which is the one that causes the feeling of ‘lucid drunkenness’.
9- Unpasteurized Milk
In the United States, drinking fresh cow’s milk is no longer part of a healthy diet, but the opposite. The FDA warned the public of foodborne illness from drinking raw milk. Illnesses include: vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain and flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, and body ache. Unpasteurized milk may also contain Listeria, a bacteria that is very harmful to an unborn baby. Thus about half of the 51 states completely ban the sale of unpasteurized milk for human consumption.
Though the rest of the states have allowed it only if the raw milk is to be sold as pet food, and only if distributed by special pre-authorized stores and farms. However, in other parts of the world, people believe that raw milk has more nutritional value compared to pasteurized milk.
8- Sassafras Oil
Sassafras has many usage, the sassafras roots can be steeped to make tea, the oil can be a flavoring ingredient for root beer. Sassafras oil can also be used in making soaps and cleaning products. Indeed, many people make use of this plant, but not in the United States. Sassafras oil has been banned since 1960, because of its potential to cause cancer, induce vomiting, damage the liver and much more.
The sassafras plant contains safrole, which was proven to be a carcinogen. Until 1994, sassafras tea was also banned, but the ban has since been lifted. Sassafras oil is allowed in the market, for as long as the safrole is removed when used commercially in teas or beers.
7- Antiques From Certain Time Periods or Countries
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection disapprove on the importation of a number of things considered “cultural property.” Not unless you have a special export permit issued by the country of origin. By Cultural property, that means anything that is both old and culturally significant will be held at Customs. That includes international archaeological objects, and ritual objects and sculptures from outside the US.
Haggis is a traditional Scottish pudding made with sheep’s entrails. This Scottish delicacy has been banned, by the FDA from public consumption because of what it’s made with. Haggis contains sheep’s livers, hearts, lungs, and a lot of other equally unsavory ingredients. In the US eating animal entrails is forbidden because they increase the risk of disease transmission between species.
5- Casu Marzu
Casu Marzu is a type of delicacy in Sardinia Italy and Corsica France. This cheese is not appetizing to the taste, the term Casu Marzu translates “rotten cheese”. Who would want to eat that?, but Sardinians love it, and the best part- it contains live insect larvae. Before it becomes a “tasty delicacy”, fly larvae hatch into the cheese that is made with unpasteurized milk, which is also a big no-no in the US— and you eat the live maggots with it…BON APPÉTIT!
4- Buckyballs Magnets
In 2009, buckyballs magnet became an instant craze as children’s toys. This object is made of tiny magnetic balls you can reshape into different shapes. However, buckyballs turned out to be quite dangerous for the little ones. Kids, ended up swallowing them, which can lead to perforations of the intestine wall and stomach that required surgery in some cases. The ban was issued in 2012, by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
3- Fresh Ackee Fruit
One of Jamaica’s national dishes, Ackee always come with saltfish, that makes a very palatable dish, and very popular even outside Jamaica. However, it’s quite impossible to try the dish in the US. That’s because one of the main ingredients- the fresh Ackee fruit is banned in the US.
The fruit was banned because it turns out the seeds of an unripe ackee contain a substance that causes something known as “Jamaican Vomiting Sickness”, and in some cases, the fruit can also lead to seizures, coma, and even death. Accidental eating of unripe ackee can be fatal. The US government doesn’t trust the importation of this fruit and banned it completely. But canned ripe ackee is sold in some selected stores.
2- Weight Loss Products Containing Ephedra
Ephedra was widely used in traditional Chinese medicine for 5,000 years. In 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the sale of ephedra-containing supplements, after countless complaints of adverse effects and deaths related to ephedra. According to some records, ephedra-containing dietary supplements cause strokes, heart attacks, liver failure in many more. Ephedra which was actually quite effective as a fat burner was banned as an ingredient in weight loss products.
1- Kinder Surprise Eggs
Kinder Eggs or Kinder Sorpresa is a confection manufactured by Italian company Ferrero. Originally intended for children, it has the form of a chocolate egg as big as the size of a real egg. The hollow chocolate egg that contains a small toy inside, often requiring assembly. The United States has banned candies with embedded toys since 1938.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), considered this chocolate a choking hazard. The chocolate egg that is the size of a real chicken egg, is a bestseller in Europe, Canada, and South America, especially during the Easter season, but not in the United States.