US FDA bans use of brominated vegetable oil in food, soda, Health News, ET HealthWorld

US FDA bans use of brominated vegetable oil in food, soda, Health News, ET HealthWorld


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Grantha by Vanayak

LONDON: The US Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday it will repeal a regulation authorising the use of brominated vegetable oil in foods from August 2, because it is no longer safe.

BVO is a chemical compound containing bromine, found in fire retardants. Small amounts of BVO are legally used in some citrus-flavored beverages in the United States to keep the flavor evenly distributed.

The FDA said it concluded that BVO was unsafe to use after it conducted a study in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health that found it had the potential for adverse effects in humans.

The agency proposed repealing the regulation in November of last year.

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, BVO was banned in Britain in 1970, followed by bans in India in 1990, the European Union in 2008, and Japan in 2010.

In 1970, the FDA concluded that its use in food was not generally recognized as safe due to toxicity concerns. After this, the agency began regulating BVO as a food additive, as well as conducting safety studies.

“The FDA's new regulation not allowing BVO as a food additive is a very positive step in the right direction,” said Michael Ashley Schulman, chief investment officer at Running Point Capital Advisors.

According to FDA regulations, whenever a company uses this ingredient in a product, it is required to mention it on the label.

According to the FDA, over time, many beverage manufacturers have replaced BVO with another ingredient. “Today, very few beverages in the U.S. contain BVO,” the FDA said.

“We are aware of the FDA's recent action regarding the use of BVO in foods. Walmart is working closely with private brand suppliers to reformulate their products,” a Walmart spokesperson told Reuters in an emailed statement.

“Currently, there are a small number of Walmart private brands products that still contain BVO, and we expect those will be corrected prior to the FDA compliance date,” the spokesperson said.

PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have removed BVO from their beverages such as Gatorade and Fanta, respectively.

“Sun Drop, made by Keurig Dr Pepper, still uses BVO … it's probably the biggest national brand that still uses it,” said Arun Sundaram of CFRA Research.

Keurig Dr Pepper did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. (Reporting by Grantha Vanayak in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Ananya Mariam Rajesh; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar and Krishna Chandra Eluri)

  • Published: July 3, 2024, 04:24 PM IST

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