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FDA revokes BVO use in food amid potential health concerns
Rafaela Sousa

Rafaela Sousa

4 July 2024

FDA revokes BVO use in food amid potential health concerns

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday (2 July) that it is revoking the regulation permitting the use of brominated vegetable oil (BVO) in food.

BVO is a type of vegetable oil that has been altered by the addition of bromine, a naturally occurring chemical element that serves as a substitute for chlorine in swimming pools and is commonly employed as a fire retardant.

BVO is found in a small number of sports drinks and sodas, but according to the FDA, "today, few beverages in the US contain BVO".

Brominated vegetable oil is an ingredient present in certain beverages, including in some Sun Drop sodas. ©Dr Pepper Snapple Group

The decision to revoke its authorisation, effective 2 August, comes after collaborative studies with the National Institutes of Health highlighted potential health risks associated with BVO.

Jim Jones, deputy commissioner for human foods at the FDA, said: “Reassessing the safety of chemicals that have been previously authorised for use in or with foods, as new, relevant data become available, is a priority for the FDA".

"We are committed to conducting reassessments to ensure that our original determinations of safety have held up over time. The removal of the only authorised use of BVO from the food supply was based on a thorough review of current science and research findings that raised safety concerns. 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."


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