Do you drink flame retardant chemicals? You may unknowingly down the toxic chemical if you choose certain sports drink flavors or popular sodas. Used for purely cosmetic reasons—to keep artificial ingredients well mixed in the liquid—brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, is a dirty food industry secret gaining national attention. Now, Pepsi Co, the corporation that manufactures Gatorade, says it will be removing BVO from Gatorade products.
Although never thoroughly tested for health impacts, BVO has been used in drinks like Fanta Orange, Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Powerade, Sunkist Pineapple, and other beverages for years. Originally intended for use as a flame retardant in plastics, the food industry stumbled on another use for BVO in manufactured liquid drinks. But here’s some tough news to swallow: Emerging reports suggest that overindulging in these BVO-containing drinks could result in symptoms of bromine poisoning, including skin lesions, memory loss, and nerve disorders.
There were concerning signs years ago, too. Studies have found BVO caused heart damage. The kicker? It’s a totally unnecessary chemical used for purely cosmetic reasons, a chemical tool that keeps artificial flavor oils suspended and provides a cloudy appearance. “Brominated vegetable oil is a poorly tested and possibly dangerous food additive, and there’s no reason to use it in Gatorade or other drinks,” explains Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of Center for Science in the Public Interest, in a statement. “After all, safe substitutes are used in Europe and elsewhere. It’s crazy that the Food and Drug Administration has let BVO linger in the food supply on an ‘interim’ basis for 42 years.”
I have always been a bit puzzled on why people thought that Gatorade was such a quality “sports drink” when it was made by the same company who makes one of the least nutritional and unhealthy drinks available (Soda). I guess they are probably the same people who will look at this article and say “I’m sure there’s not enough BVO in the drinks to actually hurt you”…….Ok 😉