Brominated compounds are associated with numerous health hazards, including harm to the nervous system. BVO can build up in the body, and research shows a connection between drinking large amounts of BVO-containing sodas over a long period and having complications such as headaches, irritation of the skin and mucous membranes, fatigue, and loss of muscle coordination and memory.
Since 1958, the FDA has classified BVO as generally recognized as safe, or GRAS, allowing the use of the ingredient without requiring it to be reviewed for safety. In 1970, that designation was withdrawn, but at the behest of an industry group, the FDA agreed to allow BVO in fruit-flavored drinks as a stabilizer. In 1977, the FDA permitted BVO to be used on an interim basis as a food additive at concentrations up to 15 parts per million, a designation that has lasted almost 50 years and points to the shortcomings of the regulatory process.
Today, the law allows food additive manufacturers to decide on their own what ingredients are GRAS without requiring that they notify the FDA. The practice of self-interested entities (manufacturers) deciding what ingredients are safe must be abolished. It must not fall to consumers to avoid ingredients harmful to their health. The federal government must take action to update the outdated food regulatory system. The FDA must play an aggressive role to ensure consumers are protected.
In the meantime, in the absence of regulatory oversight, continue to browse the TSI Website for more information, alerts, and recommendations. Always read the ingredients label carefully to avoid BVO and other potentially harmful food additives. We suggest choosing fresh organic whole foods and drinking water rather than soda or juice to avoid BVO, other chemicals, sugar, and artificial sweeteners.
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