Here’s a list of nine things we use every day in the U.S. that are ILLEGAL in other countries.
1. Baby walkers. You know . . . those plastic things with handles that let your baby walk around with some support. They’ve been banned in Canada for almost a decade because they can delay a child’s development. You can get fined up to $100,000 just for having one . . . or SIX MONTHS in jail.
2. Ketchup in school cafeterias. In France, they OUTLAWED ketchup at school. Apparently they wanted to keep their national cuisine from getting CONTAMINATED. Ironically, they still allow ketchup on French fries. But that’s it.
3. Mullets. It’s against the law to wear a mullet in Iran. Men there are also forbidden to wear ponytails or to spike their hair, and you can get FINED if you disobey. Which actually seems pretty tame for Iran.
4. Plastic bags. Of all places, Bangladesh was the first country to ban plastic bags, back in 2002. San Francisco and Los Angeles have banned them too.
5. Spanking. Sweden disallowed spanking back in 1979 . . . for kids, anyway. 23 other countries have banned it since then. In the U.S., all parents still have the right . . . and 19 states still allow your SCHOOL to do it for you.
6. BHA and BHT preservatives. You’ll see them listed on just about all the food you buy that comes in a package. But they cause cancer, and they’re banned in more than 160 countries.
7. Chewing gum. In Singapore, all gum was outlawed in 1992. In 2004 they finally allowed people to chew sugar-free gum . . . with a DOCTOR’S PRESCRIPTION.
8. Weird baby names. In Denmark, the government keeps a list of 7,000 approved names. If you don’t find the right one on the list, you have to get permission from a church. New Zealand, Sweden, and other places keep a list of banned names too.
9. Tobacco. In the Asian country of Bhutan, they don’t allow people to grow tobacco, or to produce or sell tobacco products. But somehow SMOKING is still legal.