US FDA to Ban Brominated Vegetable Oil in Food items, Soda due to Health concerns

On Tuesday, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said disclaim the regulation that authorized the use of brominated vegetable oil in food items. It will be effective from Aug 2 as foods are no longer safe.

Brominated vegetable oil is a complex blend of triglycerides obtained from plants that have had bromine atoms attached to the fat molecules to alter them. To aid emulsify citrus-flavored soft drinks and keep them from separating during distribution, brominated vegetable oil is utilized.

On a joint study conducted by FDA in collaboration with National Institutes of Health, found the potential for adverse effects in humans, it had concluded that BVO was not safe for use. FDA had first proposed to revoke the regulation in November last year.

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, BVO was banned in the UK in 1970, followed by India in 1990, the EU in 2008 and Japan in 2010. Amid health concerns, the FDA determined in 1970 that its use in food was not widely recognized as safe. After this, the organization started to regulate BVO as a food additive and along with carried out safety investigations.

The FDA’s new regulation to not allow BVO as a food additive is a terrific positive in the right direction,” said Michael Ashley Schulman, chief investment officer at Running Point Capital Advisors. As per FDA rules, whenever a company was using the ingredient in any product, it was necessary to list it on the label.

According to FDA, many beverage makers have replaced BVO with an alternative ingredient. ‘Today, few beverages in the U.S. contain BVO,” it said.

A Walmart spokesperson told Reuters in an emailed statement that “We are aware of the recent FDA action regarding the use of BVO in food. Walmart has been working with private brand suppliers to reformulate products,”

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

According to CFRA Research’s Arun Sundaram, “Sun Drop, made by Keurig Dr. Pepper, still uses BVO. This is probably the biggest national brand that still uses it.”

A Reuters request for comment was not immediately answered by Keurig Dr. Pepper.

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