Why raw almonds are illegal in the US:
Forbidden Fruits: Whatever Medicinal Foods The F.D.A. Forbids Written by Sarah C. Corriher Category: Reports Published: November 28, 2009 “Drop the almonds! NOW MISTER!” Vitamin B-17, Raw Bitter Almonds, and Apricot Seeds In 2007, bitter almonds were becoming popular throughout alternative medicine for their vitamin B-17 (laetrile) content. Health food stores had stopped selling B-17 in the form of apricot seeds in 2002, due to armed raids. The F.D.A. openly banned apricot seeds and laetrile extracts, because they had been published as a cure for cancer. Curing cancer is illegal in America. The British government followed suit, and did the very same things during 2002. Innocent people in both countries were arrested and wrongfully charged as criminals for merely selling apricot seeds, a carrier of vitamin B-17.
Bitter almonds were later discovered to be the highest source of this vitamin. Vitamin B-17 was still somewhat a newly-discovered vitamin, and it is rare in nature. In fact, there are organizations that are affiliated with orthodox medicine which still refuse to officially recognize laetrile as a vitamin. The reason for the exploding popularity of vitamin B-17, and thereby bitter almonds, was due to the fact that vitamin B-17 has dramatic and miraculous tumor-killing properties. While alternative medicine has had other effective and non-toxic cancer cures since the 1930’s, this new vitamin really looked like the magic bullet. There were reports everywhere of cancers being killed merely from patients eating bitter almonds daily. Soon there would be almond extract capsules, so that these same patients would only need a cheap, non-toxic pill per day. This did not bode well for the most lucrative segment of the medical industry. Hundreds of billions of dollars were expected to be lost in the oncology market.
In September of 2007, the F.D.A. made the claim that raw almonds had been linked to two salmonella outbreaks in five years, and that all almonds needed to be pasteurized for safety. Almonds had suddenly become “dangerous”. The salmonella outbreaks were not due to organic almonds, which is reminiscent of the many meat recalls. Salmonella and e-coli are present in our foods only because of grossly unhygienic factory conditions; not because our foods are inherently putrid. For bitter almonds, the required pasteurization would bring forth only one significant change to them. It would neutralize the vitamin B-17, and that was their agenda. Pristine bitter almonds are the most easily accessible source of vitamin B-17. They are illegal now by F.D.A. fiat. The bitter almond tree had already been banned from the U.S. in 1995. They even went so far as to make the tree itself illegal.
Photo credit: By Sally Meyer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons