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FDA Bans Food Product: Safety Concerns Prompt Precautionary Action

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  • The FDA is banning the use of brominated vegetable oil (BVO) in food products due to safety concerns, as per recent studies from the National Institute of Health (NIH).
  • BVO, primarily found in sodas and certain fruit juices, has been a controversial additive since its removal from the FDA’s Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list in 1970.
  • Companies are given one year from the ban’s effectivity on August 2 to use up their existing stock of BVO-containing products and modify their formulation to be BVO-free.

The use of brominated vegetable oil (BVO), a food additive predominantly used in sodas to keep citrus flavoring from separating, is nearing its end. The FDA will cease its approval for BVO’s use in food items due to safety concerns revealed in recent studies by the National Institute of Health (NIH).

BVO is essentially a vegetable oil modified with bromine. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit research and consumer health advocacy organization, has identified numerous products, mainly sodas and some fruit juices, that contain BVO. Its safety has been under question since 1970 when it was removed from the FDA’s GRAS list.

“The FDA has only permitted BVO in products in minimal quantities and with stricter safety oversight.”
Over time, market pressures have encouraged several companies to remove BVO from their consumer goods. Additional research has now influenced the FDA to request a comprehensive ban on BVO use.

The FDA’s new regulation, which prohibits BVO in products, will take effect on August 2. However, companies are afforded a one-year grace period after this date to sell their existing BVO-containing stock. They will also need to reformulate and rebrand their products in compliance with the new BVO-free standard.

Several studies have highlighted potential health risks related to BVO consumption. A 1976 study revealed that pigs who ingested BVO suffered damage to their hearts, kidneys, liver, and testicles. More recently, a 2022 rat study showed that BVO could remain in the body after consumption, accumulating in the heart, liver, and fat tissue of the animals.

“The FDA cites a 2022 rat study demonstrating that BVO can continue to stay in the body post-consumption, accumulating in the hearts, livers, and fat tissues of these rats.”
Until the BVO ban is fully implemented, the EWG advises consumers to proceed with caution. Individuals are encouraged to limit their soda and concentrated fruit juice intake, opting for water whenever possible. Regularly checking ingredient labels is also crucial to avoid products that contain BVO.

While enjoying an occasional soda may not be detrimental, it is not recommended to make it a daily routine. With the impending BVO ban, consumers can anticipate safer, healthier choices in the beverage industry.

Let us know what you think, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. ROBERT Gordon STONE

    July 5, 2024 at 1:37 pm

    How long has this been killing us and why was it allowed before it was testing longer or at all!

  2. Spanabama

    July 10, 2024 at 1:13 pm

    It’s called “Lobbying” which is a legal process normally known as “Bribing” government from taking steps to protect the people. Corporate profit is more important than the safety of the American public. It took 40 years after BVO was questioned by the FDA and found “generally” safety for consumption to confirm it is in fact harmful to consume. 40 Years….!!!! Money runs this country, the government, corporations, FDA, not the safety of the American Public.

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