Butylated hydroxyanisole, a synthetic substance, derived from the petroleum industry, could be found in many aliments around, even for children. Several countries do not permit it, but others yes. It's a matter of who decides and why. Furthermore, there are several studies linking this synthetic substance with mutagenic capabilities and then, in an eventuality, fatal consequences.
For anyone, it might be strange how the industry decides to use this kind of products. Some that at a first glance looks incredibly awkward: BHA comes from an industry that its main activity is related to hydrocarbons and refinement.
The industry was trying to find a solution for the natural oxidation in aliments, and the use of a byproduct for sure could be identified as a cheap solution. After using this synthetic chemical, the product is presented to the user with a longer sell-by-date, so the lucrative margins are higher to who produces and sells the product.
The problem is what happens when you force a derived from petroleum product into the human organism, composed of so many pieces in the order of billions and unknown processes. Here, the main worry perhaps for many is the lucrative endeavor, but the question is... is it necessary? Are other viable solutions there without possible problems?
For sure, there are other solutions. Maybe not equally cheap or easy, although safer if the point of interest is about using other substances that the organism normally processes from tens of thousands of years ago.
It's easy to understand what happens with BHA. As some countries do not permit it, there are different opinions about its safe levels but not about what causes, which is harmful and potentially lethal. How with a mere doubt someone would allow its release to the public without warnings, it's another matter. Think for instance about a group of children that wants to eat dried fruits. In several countries they would eat as well BHA.
For this reason, this a very important topic to criticize. Why a person is forced to eat something with an appearance of normality? What happens if it is simply toxic for a percentage? With the health of others, to play for lucrative purposes, seems very disappointing for anyone's reputation.