The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is constantly reviewing what we consume to ensure our health and safety.

Occasionally, the FDA flags things that have been in our homes, even our foods for decades.

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Have you ever heard of Brominated Vegetable Oil or BVO?

It's a food additive that is used in certain citrus-flavored drinks.

It helps to prevent the separation of citrus oils from the water in beverages. Yes, very scientific stuff that can be confusing.


BVO is nothing new. In fact, it has been used in many of the drinks we consume since the '70s.

Why the urgency all of a sudden?

The FDA has discovered that high levels of bromine, an ingredient in BVO, can lead to bromism, a condition that may cause neurological symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and ataxia.

The FDA said this in a release:

The FDA is issuing a proposed rule now because the agency has recent data from studies it conducted that demonstrate adverse health effects in animals at levels more closely approximating real-world human exposure. Based on these data and remaining unresolved safety questions, the FDA can no longer conclude that the use of BVO in food is safe. Results from these studies show bioaccumulation of bromine and toxic effects on the <a href="">thyroid</a> – a gland that produces hormones that play a key role in regulating blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, metabolism, and the reaction of the body to other hormones.

Here's the crazy part. BVO is actually used as a flame retardant. That begs the question: who thought it was a good idea to use this stuff in drinks, to begin with?

Brominated Vegetable Oil has commonly been used in Moutain Dew and Sun Drop sodas.

It's also been found in Gatorade and Walmart brand sodas and sports drinks.

Be sure to check the ingredient labels on beverages, especially generic brands for BVO.

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