Why is a Cancer-Causing Additive Banned Elsewhere in the World Still in Our Bread?Another example of the power of Big Food in Washington? Potassium bromate, a chemical historically used to whiten and strengthen dough for baking, was declared unsuitable for use in flour by the World Health Organization and the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization in the early 1990s. In 1999 it was declared a possible human carcinogen by the WHO. There’s also evidence that the chemical damages kidney function in humans. Despite the myriad health dangers associated with potassium bromate, the Food and Drug Administration continues to allow its use as a food additive in baked goods.