FDA Bans Use of BVO in All Food and Beverages

by Ella

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has officially prohibited the use of brominated vegetable oil (BVO) in foods and beverages due to safety concerns, marking a significant regulatory shift. BVO, which is a vegetable oil modified with bromine, a natural chemical element, was previously permitted in small amounts primarily in beverages to prevent citrus flavorings from separating.

FDA’s Decision and Collaborative Research

The FDA’s decision to ban BVO follows collaborative studies with the National Institutes of Health, which highlighted adverse health effects associated with the ingredient. These findings prompted the FDA to conclude that BVO does not meet safety standards for consumption.


Implementation and Industry Impact

Effective August 2, the ban requires companies to reformulate, relabel, and cease selling products containing BVO within a one-year transition period, according to the FDA’s announcement. While many major soda brands in the U.S. have already phased out BVO from their formulations, approximately 600 food and beverage products still contain the ingredient, as reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


For instance, Keurig Dr. Pepper’s SunDrop and certain varieties of soda available at Giant grocery stores are among the products affected by the ban, highlighting remaining instances where BVO is used.


Health Concerns and State-Level Actions

BVO has been linked to health issues such as hyperthyroidism, where insufficient thyroid hormone production can lead to weight gain and, in severe cases, depression. Excessive consumption of BVO can also harm the central nervous system, further underscoring the FDA’s regulatory action.


Before the federal ban, California led efforts by prohibiting BVO in October 2023, alongside other additives like potassium bromate, propylparaben, and red dye 3. Subsequently, states including Missouri, Washington, New York, and Illinois followed suit, reflecting growing concerns over the safety of food additives.


The FDA’s ban on BVO represents a pivotal step in safeguarding public health, aligning with evolving scientific research and state-level regulatory actions across the country. As companies prepare to comply with the new regulations, consumers can expect safer choices in the marketplace, reinforcing the FDA’s commitment to ensuring food and beverage safety.



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