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Friday, July 19, 2024

FDA proposes banning ingredient found in some citrus-flavored sodas

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing a ban on brominated vegetable oil (BVO) after studies on animals determined the ingredient may have adverse health effects in humans.

Recent toxicology studies offered conclusive evidence to support the FDA’s proposed ban of the ingredient previously authorized by the FDA for use in small amounts to keep citrus flavoring from separating and floating to the top of some beverages, the agency stated Thursday in a newsrelease.

Since the FDA determined in 1970 that BVO was no longer generally recognized as safe, beverage makers have been replacing the ingredient with alternatives. “Today, few beverages in the U.S. contain BVO,” the agency stated.

Still, the agency’s proposal could impact a number of sports drinks and sodas containing a mix of lemon, lime and orange flavors, including Sun Drop soda, made by Keurig Dr Pepper.

“We have been actively reformulating Sun Drop to no longer include this ingredient and will remain compliant with all state and national regulations,” a spokesperson for Keurig told CBS MoneyWatch in an email.

The FDA’s decision drew praise from advocates including Consumer Reports.

“Toxic additives like BVO that have been shown to pose toxic risks to the thyroid and other chronic health problems should not be allowed in our food,” Brian Ronholm, director of food policy at Consumer Reports said in a statement. “We’re encouraged that the FDA has re-examined recent studies documenting the health risks posed by BVO and is taking action to prohibit its use.”

The substance that helps blend liquids is used in about 70 sodas and beverages, most of them vibrantly colored and citrus-flavored, according to Consumer Reports, citing a database maintained by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

BVO was among four food additives banned by California in October.

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