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FDA bans popular soft drink additive due to safety concerns

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FDA bans popular soft drink additive due to safety concerns

Food and beverage makers will no longer be allowed to use Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) as an ingredient in their products. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned BVO due to safety concerns.

The ingredient, which was used to prevent flavouring from separating in citrus drinks, will be prohibited starting 2 August 2024. Manufacturers have been given an additional year to reformulate products and deplete existing inventory.

The Centre for Science in the Public Interest has advised consumers to continue checking product ingredients to avoid BVO, as some older stock may still be in circulation.

BVO was used to blend liquids and was found in about 70 soft drinks and beverages, most of them vibrantly coloured and citrus-flavoured, according to consumer reports, which cited a database maintained by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

The FDA announced its ban eight months after proposing it, citing studies on animals that indicated potential adverse health effects in humans.

The FDA had determined in 1970 that BVO was not generally recognised as safe, leading many beverage makers to swap out the ingredient with alternatives over the ensuing decades. Despite this, many beverages on sale today still contain BVO, although some have stopped using the ingredient.

READ ALSO: WHO warns of cancer risk from soft drinks, toothpastes, others

“Toxic additives like BVO that have been shown to pose risks to the thyroid and other chronic health problems should not be allowed in our food,” director of food policy at Consumer Reports, Brian Ronholm said.

“We’re encouraged that the FDA has re-examined recent studies documenting the health risks posed by BVO and is taking action to prohibit its use.”
Already banned for use in food in most European countries, BVO was among four food additives banned by California in October.

The FDA banned the use of BVO due to potential health risks, including links to nervous system damage, fatigue, and muscle coordination issues in studies.
The ban follows a 2022 study that found BVO accumulation in the vital organs of rats.

Proofreading, editing by Uji A ILIYASU, Editor at Neptune Prime 

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