Coke, Pepsi Agree to Remove Flame Retardant Chemical BVO From Drinks

Soft drink manufacturers Coca-cola and PepsiCo are working to remove the chemical ingredient BVO from their soft drinks. This is a welcome move if these manufacturers do remove this chemical from their products.

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What is BVO?

BVO stands for brominated vegetable oil. BVO is patented as a flame retardant and is not approved for human consumption in other parts of the world, including in Europe and Japan. Excessive consumption of BVO has been linked to health issues such as memory loss, fatigue, tremors, and ptosis of the eye.

According to the Mayo Clinic, bromine is the main concern. The FDA used to consider bromine generally safe, but now has only approved its use in small amounts. However, there is a concern that bromine can accumulate in the body over time.

Why is BVO used in drinks?

BVO is currently found in products including Gatorade, Powerade, Mountain Dew, Amp energy drinks, and Fanta Orange. About 10% of all sodas sold in the United States contain BVO.

What is BVO?
Do you know if your soda contains BVO?

BVO is commonly used in the soft drink industry as an emulsifier. It helps prevent the separation of flavoring additives in citrus-flavored drinks. The product is made by taking vegetable oil from crops like corn and soy and bonding it with the element bromine.

Coke and Pepsi have argued it is safe and helps distribute the flavor evenly in their drinks but are now agreeing to remove it from their beverages. The companies stand by the claim that BVO is not dangerous, but are removing the product because marketing sodas as “natural” has become a priority and provides a competitive advantage.

Doctors advise against consuming BVO

Many doctors advised against drinking sugary drinks in general. However, that warning is amplified when BVO enters the picture. Physicians generally advise checking the ingredients of a drink to see if it contains BVO. If so, try to avoid the drink. At the very least, try to limit your intake of this chemical.

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