FDA bans soda additive over health concerns

FDA bans soda additive over health concerns

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned a soda additive starting next month over health concerns.

The FDA said Tuesday that it revoked its regulation that allowed brominated vegetable oil (BVO) to be used in food because it “is no longer considered safe.” The agency pointed to studies conducted with the National Institutes of Health that “found the potential for adverse health effects in humans.”

The new rule will go into effect Aug. 2.

BVO is typically added to sodas to stop citrus flavoring from separating and floating to the top of the drink. The FDA initially proposed banning BVO from food last fall, pointing to studies that found the additive is toxic to the thyroid.

The ingredient list may show “brominated vegetable oil” or a more specific oil, such as “brominated soybean oil.” The FDA noted that many beverage makers have reformulated their recipes to replace BVO with a different ingredient, adding that just a “few” beverages in the U.S. still contain the additive.

Jim Jones, the deputy commissioner for the FDA’s Human Foods program, said in a statement that the agency is “committed to conducting reassessments to ensure that our original determinations of safety have held up over time.”

“The removal of the only authorized use of BVO from the food supply was based on a thorough review of current science and research findings that raised safety concerns,” he said.

“We will continue to monitor emerging evidence on the chemicals we have targeted for reassessment, and in cases such as this, where the science no longer supports continued authorized use, we will take action to protect public health,” he added.

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