The FDA has warned consumers about potential health risks associated with the use of Brominated vegetable oils (BVO) in certain diet drinks. Consequently, the agency has proposed a ban on using BVO in these products.
Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) is a synthetic ingredient approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a food additive in products such as diet sodas. It is a vegetable oil that has been combined with bromine, a chemical element, to keep the oil mixed evenly in the beverage. BVO helps to prevent flavor components from separating and floating to the top of the liquid.
Bromine is known to be a skin, nose, mouth and stomach irritant. It’s also been linked to neurologic symptoms in people who drink large quantities of citrus soda — more than 2 liters a day.
Per the reporting, Pepsi removed BVO from Gatorade products in 2013, with Coca-Cola removing all BVO from its entire product line in 2014. Until 1970, BVO was generally recognized as safe by the FDA. However, since then, more research has been done to consider any health effects of BVO.
There are still some diet sodas that use brominated vegetable oil. Make sure to always check the label of soft drinks to see if any contain BVO. Since BVO is used in such a small amount, it should be listed towards the bottom of the ingredients list.