" Look Into It - Brominated Vegetable Oil - Toxic Flame Retardant In Your Food!








Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)

Toxic Flame Retardant In Your Food!


BVO, a substance patented as a flame retardant and banned as a food ingredient throughout Europe and in Japan is present in 10% of all soft drinks in the US. The December 12, 2011 issue of Environmental Health News reviews the history of this toxic ingredient, including the fact that "extreme soda binges - not too far from what many video gamers regularly consume" have resulted in skin lesions, memory loss and nerve disorders.




Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)

Flame Retardant Chemical Banned in Europe and Japan Used in U.S. Soda for Decades 



Anthony Gucciardi
December 17, 2011

Why has a flame retardant chemical banned in Europe and Japan been used as an ingredient in North American sodas for decades?

If you live in the United States and drink citrus-flavored sodas such as Mountain Dew, you may be ingesting this substance that has health professionals up in arms.

A synthetic chemical known as brominated vegetable oil (BVO) — first patented by chemical companies as a flame retardant — is increasingly being identified as a threat to your health, but soda companies still have yet to remove BVO as an ingredient.

Added to about 10% of sodas in North America for decades, BVO has reportedly led to soda-drinkers experiencing skin lesions, memory loss, and nerve disorders. Interestingly, these are all the symptoms of overexposure to bromine. What is most concerning is the fact that studies have found that BVO can actually build up in human tissue, accumulating in large quantities over long periods of soda consumption.

Industry Reports Set “Safety Limit” on BVO

Is it any surprise that reports from a group within the industry were instrumental in establishing limits on what the FDA considers a “safe limit” for BVO in sodas?

Scientists have disputed the supposed safety level, stating that not only is the data frail, but the research is several decades old and needs to be re-examined. Meanwhile, soda drinkers are being exposed to this toxic flame retardant chemical on a daily basis. It is not uncommon for some Americans to drink upwards of 5-6 sodas per day, and Mountain Dew is a popular choice among soda lovers.

‘Aside from these reports, the scientific data is scarce,’ said Walter Vetter, a food chemist at Germany’s University of Hohenheim and author of a recent, but unpublished, study on BVO in European soda imports.

Imagine the amount of BVO that has accumulated in the tissue of a lifelong soda drinker.

How can you tell which sodas contain BVO? Well, Mountain Dew, Squirt, Fanta Orange, Sunkist Pineapple, Gatorade Thirst Quencher Orange, and Powerade Strawberry Lemonade or Fresca Original Citrus all contain BVO. This is a not a complete list, however, and it is important to check the ingredient list.

Sodas should be avoided regardless of BVO content, as BVO is not the only ingredient you need to worry about. Many sodas contain mercury-filled high-fructose corn syrup, or the carcinogenic artificial sweetener aspartame.

You can even hold a bottle of Mountain Dew up to a light and see the presence of BVO. BVO creates the cloudy look of the beverage by keeping the ‘fruity flavor’ mixed into the drink. Without the presence of BVO, the flavoring would float to the surface and separate.

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Flame retardant chemical found in US soft drinks

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 by: Tara Green

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(NaturalNews) A substance patented as a flame retardant and banned as a food ingredient throughout Europe and in Japan is present in 10% of all soft drinks in the US. The December 12, 2011 issue of Environmental Health News reviews the history of this toxic ingredient, including the fact that "extreme soda binges - not too far from what many video gamers regularly consume" have resulted in skin lesions, memory loss and nerve disorders.

Fruit-flavored flame retardant

Mountain Dew, Fanta Orange, Squirt, some flavors of Gatorade and Powerade, as well as other fruit-flavored beverages contain brominated vegetable oil (BVO). On the Nutrition Connection page of its website, the Coca-Cola Company, which manufactures Fanta, defines BVO's as "stabilizers to prevent the citrus flavoring oils from floating to the surface in beverages." In other words, as Environmental Health News explains, BVO weighs down the citrus flavoring so that it mixes with the other soda ingredients, just as flame retardants slow down the chemical reactions which can cause fires.

FDA says safe?

Brominated vegetable oil is derived from soybean or corn and contains bromine atoms. BVO was removed from the FDA's "Generally Recognized as Safe List" for flavor additives in 1970. The Flavor Extract Manufacturers' Association subsequently petitioned to get BVO re-approved, this time as a stabilizer rather than a flavor additive. Following the submission of industry-generated studies showing that BVO was harmless when present in soft drinks within "safe limits." The FDA in 1977 granted "interim approval" for use of the substance, limiting it to 15 parts per million. That interim has so far lasted 30 years. The Environmental Health News article quotes an FDA spokesperson as saying that re-examining the status of BVO "is not a public health priority for the agency at this time."

Many critics in the past have likened the reliance of governmental watchdog agencies like the FDA on industry studies to "the fox guarding the henhouse." One therefore might have cause to wonder about the scientific accuracy of those 1970s industry-generated data which persuaded the FDA to re-approve BVO. Even if those studies were accurate, toxicity testing has improved significantly in the past three decades.

Recent Research

Both animal research and human studies of bromine have demonstrated its toxicity, finding links to lowered fertility, early puberty onset and impaired neurological development. Studies have also shown that bromine builds up in the heart, liver and fat tissue. The accumulation may also appear in breast milk. Because of this evidence, some health safety experts are concerned about bromine's use even as a flame retardant which can be present in many household items.

Given the high levels of soda many people consume in the US, its presence in soft drinks is alarming. Health experts point in particular to the gamer culture where people may play video games for hours, drinking soft drinks throughout an extended session of gaming. Some soft drink companies, such as Mountain Dew, even offer game tie-ins, awarding players bonus points for drinking more of the soda.

Chemicals, Dollars and Health

The perspective of other countries on this US public health concern offers some interesting perspective. Wim Thielemans, a chemical engineer at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, points out soda manufacturers use natural hydrocolloids to perform BVO's emulsification function in countries where BVO is banned. Since there are viable alternatives to BVO's, Thielmans speculates that "the main driver for not replacing them may be cost."

BVO's are another in a long list of reasons to avoid drinking sodas, and to teach your children to appreciate healthier beverages. In addition to the high fructose corn syrup of "regular" sodas or aspartame in diet drinks, both of which bring a host of health risks, these are one more poison in the cocktail of chemicals contained in soda.

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"In a recent study of best-selling grocery store products, researchers discovered that almost 50 percent of the sampled peanut butter and deli meats, as well as turkey, fish, beef and other fatty foods, contained hints of a flame retardant normally utilized in the foam insulation of building walls."




Flame retardants found in common grocery store foods



Pressure on chemical companies from legislators is mounting on the issue of toxic chemicals in hundreds of consumer products. Senator Frank Lautenberg has introduced the Safer Chemicals Act, a bill that would require chemical makers to prove their substances are safe before they are approved for use. Although one might expect this requirement to be the current standard, this is not the case.

HBCD - The newest player in toxic chemicals

In a recent study of best-selling grocery store products, researchers discovered that almost 50 percent of the sampled peanut butter and deli meats, as well as turkey, fish, beef and other fatty foods, contained hints of a flame retardant normally utilized in the foam insulation of building walls.

You're probably wondering how a chemical used in building insulation makes its way onto our grocery shelves. Experts propose that HBCDs (hexabromocyclododecane) make their way into the food chain through the air, water and soil.

Arlene Blum, executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute, suggested "They could migrate out of products into dust and end up in sewage sludge. The chemical may then end up in the marine food supply, or the sewage sludge could get put on fields, where it will inevitably contaminate crops and livestock." Essentially, these chemicals cannot be used in any circumstance without the risk of contaminating food sources.

The specific flame retardant, HBCD, is just the newest in a series of synthetic chemicals that investigators are detecting in popular foods. The EPA reported that the flame retardant is "highly toxic" to marine life and can interfere with the role of human hormones and reproduction. Once in the human body, these fat bonding chemicals will bind to human fat, where they can exist for years.

History repeats itself

Frequency of particular childhood cancers, learning disabilities and reproductive issues are emerging at frightful rates. These flame retardants are very similar to banned PCBs, which have been connected to diseases and health risks including cancer, asthma, lower IQ and diabetes, among others. Studies demonstrate as much as 5 percent of childhood cancers, 10 percent of neurobehavioral conditions and 30 percent of childhood asthma cases are related to unsafe chemicals. It's only commonsense to anticipate certain flame retardants such as HBCDs to have similar health risks. It seems that everything we have learned about PCBs has been neglected and now the same mistakes are being made with flame retardants.

Aggressive industry lobbyists

The companies that produce these dangerous chemicals are determined to keep cashing in on them, while lying about their health impacts and exaggerating their effectiveness. They go as far as setting up bogus "citizen groups" to promote their agenda. They even hired a prominent Seattle physical, Dr. David Heimbach, who traveled from state to state persuading legislators with a made up story about a baby who died because of a lack of flame retardants in her crib.

One of the so called citizen groups, Citizens for Fire Safety, is pushing for laws requiring fire retardants in furniture. The group describes itself as "a coalition of fire professionals, educators, community activists, burn centers, doctors, fire departments and industry leaders." However, a closer look at the Citizens for Fire Safety reveals only three members, which also happen to be the three leading companies that manufacture flame retardants: Albemarle Corporation, ICL Industrial Products and Chemtura Corporation.

Misplaced trust and lack of oversight

Outdated law has required the EPA to verify a mere 200 of the 80,000 chemicals in its inventory. Experts have been trying for years, without success, to get congress to change the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, which currently awaits a Senate vote. State laws are starting to making a make changes on this issue, but federal reform is desperately needed.

Most Americans trust that what they buy in grocery stores has gone through some sort of testing or approval process, verifying its safety for commercial use. It's that misplaced trust that chemical manufacturers rely on. Americans need to take action by telling their senators to support the Safer Chemicals Act and other similar bills that will permanently remove these highly toxic chemicals from our society.

Sources for this article include:






About the author:
See more health news articles by John McKiernan at The Holistic Truth




Brominated vegetable oil: PepsiCo and Coca-Cola not removing chemical from Canadian drinks

Brominated vegetable oil, which is banned in Europe and Japan, is used as a clouding agent in a number of popular North American soft drinks.

By: Carys Mills Staff Reporter, Published on Tue Dec 18 2012


Major soft drink-makers and Health Canada say the use of brominated vegetable oil in Canadian beverages is safe, despite a growing movement elsewhere to ban its use.

The additive, which is used to cloud and stop separation in some drinks, has been banned in most of Europe for decades and Japan recently discontinued its use. However, BVO continues to be used in popular drinks sold in Canada, including some flavours of Gatorade, Powerade, Fresca, Mountain Dew and Amp Energy Drink.

In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the additive has come under scrutiny this month after Mississippi teenager Sarah Kavanagh started a petition demanding that PepsiCo stop using the ingredient in Gatorade.

She wrote on change.org, a petition-hosting website, that she was prompted to take up the cause after Googling the ingredient found on her Gatorade label and discovering that it was banned in many countries but not her own.

“(I)t’s not necessary. . . there is enough information out there that entire countries have banned this chemical product,” Kavanagh wrote on her petition, which has more than 198,000 online supporters so far, including Canadians.

After consuming several drinks daily containing BVO, some people have reported symptoms including loss of muscle coordination, memory loss, headache and fatigue, according to a study published this summer by the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany.

BVO is classified as a food additive, but there is limited knowledge of its composition, the researchers found. It does contain bromine, which is also in flame retardants and has been found to build up in body lipids.

Health Canada spokesman Sean Upton said there are no health risks associated with BVO when the density-adjusting agent is used according to regulations, which sets out that 15 parts per million can be used in citrus or spruce-flavoured beverages as consumed.

“Health Canada is not currently reconsidering the approval of brominated vegetable oil,” Upton said in an email. “However, Health Canada continually monitors the scientific literature to identify new results of studies relevant to the safety of food additives.”

If a risk is evaluated for an additive, the department will take action appropriate for the level of risk, Upton said.

BVO was used in Canada prior to the creation of Health Canada’s additive table in 1964. It was formally added to the table with its current restrictions in the late 1960s or 1970s, Upton said.

The soft drink ingredient was first used in 1931 and is derived from soybean oil to stabilize flavour oils, according to Pepsi’s website.

Dave DeCecco, PepsiCo North America’s vice president of communications, said all of the company’s products are safe and ingredients are constantly evaluated to make sure they meet regulations.

In Canada, Pepsi products that include BVO include Gatorade Perform Orange Thirst Quencher, Mountain Dew and Amp Energy Drink.

“We follow the regulatory guidelines in every country in which we operate,” DeCecco said. “Health Canada confirms that BVO is safe. If that were to change, we would absolutely comply with any new regulation.”

Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada also uses the ingredient in beverages including Fresca and some Powerade flavours.

“The safety and quality of our products are our highest priorities,” said director of brand communications Shannon C. Denny in an email, “and we comply with all applicable regulations everywhere we operate.”


"More and more over the past 25 years, brominated flame retardants have been used in home furnishings and electronics to slow down fires. These chemicals are now routinely found in household dust, food, air and in the umbilical cords of newborns."




Flame retardants are causing autism

Tuesday, August 07, 2012 by: Craig Stellpflug
Tags: flame retardants, autism, PDBE


More and more over the past 25 years, brominated flame retardants have been used in home furnishings and electronics to slow down fires. These chemicals are now routinely found in household dust, food, air and in the umbilical cords of newborns.

In a recent study, scientists are reporting that environmental toxins and genetics can work together to create autism symptoms in mice prenatally exposed to a flame retardant. Genetically predisposed female mice were less social and had impaired memories and learning skills after their mothers were exposed to a brominated compound known as a PBDE. PBDEs have been accumulating in the environment in lock-step with the accelerating rise in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

This study linked genetic and behavioral changes to a flame retardant chemical and a specific gene mutation found in Rett's syndrome - a condition on the autism spectrum that primarily affects females with significant deficits in social behaviors and communication. An individual with genetic risks for other health-related problems or diseases may also be more sensitive to these environmental chemicals than the overall general population.

PDBEs attack on the thyroid

Halogens consist of bromine, chlorine, fluorine and iodine which are all similar in atomic structure. PBDEs are made from bromine and have a similar chemical structure to iodine in thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones act in every cell in the body to perform a wide-ranging role in metabolism, growth and overall development. PBDEs interrupt thyroid function, causing changes in brain development. Mouse studies show early life exposure to PDBEs increases hyperactivity, impairs learning and alters motor development.

The brain cells in autism are sensitive to thyroid hormone regulation and can be adversely affected by PBDEs.

Recently, the Schafer Report and the CDC announced a staggering new figure of 1 in 91 children now being affected by autism. Symptoms of ASD include deficiencies in social behaviors, cognition and communication, repetitive behaviors, regression of language skills, severe brain disorganization and a drop in processing skills. For most of the children with autism, sensory perception becomes disoriented, inappropriate and often overwhelming.

How we are exposed to more and more chemicals

In 2006, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission approved a federal regulation (16 CFR 1640) enforcing a very strict - national flameproof mattress standard, mandating all new mattresses to withstand a two-foot wide blowtorch open-flame test, for 70 seconds. Cheaper chemicals in higher amounts instantly went into all mattresses, sofa beds, futons, cribs and fold out beds that are included under the regulation.

That cute little one-piece sleeper for your toddler could also be infiltrated with poison! Toxic fire retardants are used in a multitude of common household products and can be found in everything from pillows to couches, children's clothing, carpets, computers and baby toys.

Epic fail!

Arlene Blum, a visiting scholar in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute says: "U.S. manufacturers treat furniture with... either tris (2,3,-dibromopropyl) phosphate, a known cancer-causing agent, or a trademarked mix of four chemicals called Firemaster 500"..."In the U.S., we the have highest levels of flame retardants in our dust and in our bodies." But there's little evidence that these chemicals are making a difference in the number of fires that take place. In fact, Blum says, "[chemical] flame retardants aren't very useful in reducing fire hazards because they slow fires by just a few seconds."

The bottom line

The conclusion of the fire retardant study shows that in a genetically susceptible population, PBDE exposure can have strong effects and can tip the balance toward autism. These researchers examined only one environmental chemical in autistic behaviors. Autism is a multifactorial disorder and not just limited to PBDEs.

You, the consumer have to make an educated and informed decision about things that affect your health and the health of your child. Buying chemical-free baby products is a great start!

Sources for this article


About the author:
Craig Stellpflug is a Cancer Nutrition Specialist, Lifestyle Coach and Neuro Development Consultant at Healing Pathways Medical Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ. http://www.healingpathwayscancerclinic.com/ With 17 years of clinical experience working with both brain disorders and cancer, Craig has seen first-hand the devastating effects of vaccines and pharmaceuticals on the human body and has come to the conclusion that a natural lifestyle and natural remedies are the true answers to health and vibrant living. You can find his daily health blog at www.blog.realhealthtalk.com and his articles and radio show archives at www.realhealthtalk.com






The Next Deadly Poison In Soda - Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)


The Next Deadly Poison In Soda - Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)

Let's talk about BVO, that's Brominated vegetable oil and it is found in about 10% of soft drinks. It's vegetable oil that has the element bromine attached to it. Bromine is a chemical classified as a halide and has similar properties to the other halides like iodine and actually competes with it for absorption into the body. The more bromine you get in your body, the less iodine you get. It displaces it. The more iodine you displace, the less thyroid hormone you make because the body needs iodine to make thyroid hormone. Now let's see—we have high fructose corn syrup which causes fatty liver and obesity and then you spike it with another ingredient that blocks the thyroid. Are the soda companies trying to drum up business for weightwatchers—or maybe they hold stock in mortuary companies—or hospitals. It must be one of those three.

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