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It’s Official: FDA Bans Brominated Vegetable Oil

July 3, 2024
BVO, an additive to keep citrus flavor from separating, will be banned next year after studies conducted with the National Institutes of Health found the potential for adverse health effects.

After warning for months it was about to do so, the FDA yesterday (July 2) officially revoked the regulation authorizing the use of brominated vegetable oil (BVO) in food.

“The agency concluded that the intended use of BVO in food is no longer considered safe after the results of studies conducted in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health found the potential for adverse health effects in humans,” the agency wrote.

BVO is a vegetable oil that is modified with bromine. It was used in small amounts to keep the citrus flavoring from floating to the top in some beverages. Few beverages in the U.S. still contain BVO, the FDA said. The agency indicated back in November it was moving toward banning its use.

Check this list: Do you use any of these 28 chemicals that may be banned by states or the feds?

Manufacturers were required to list BVO, or the specific brominated vegetable oil such as brominated soybean oil, in the ingredients list if it was used. The FDA has regulated BVO as a food additive since the agency removed it from the codified list of Generally Recognized As Safe or “GRAS” substances in 1970.

“The FDA is taking this action as part of our regulatory authority over ingredients added to food, which includes reassessing previously evaluated food ingredients and addressing safety concerns. Reassessing the safety of food ingredients as new, relevant data become available, is a priority for the FDA and a key part of our food safety mission.”

The rule becomes effective on Aug. 2 of this year, and the compliance date – the date when all processors must have it removed --for this rule is Aug. 2, 2025. The extra year gives processors time to reformulate, relabel and deplete the inventory of BVO-containing products before the FDA begins enforcing the final rule.

About the Author

Dave Fusaro | Editor in Chief

Dave Fusaro has served as editor in chief of Food Processing magazine since 2003. Dave has 30 years experience in food & beverage industry journalism and has won several national ASBPE writing awards for his Food Processing stories. Dave has been interviewed on CNN, quoted in national newspapers and he authored a 200-page market research report on the milk industry. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter who specialized in business writing, he holds a BA in journalism from Marquette University. Prior to joining Food Processing, Dave was Editor-In-Chief of Dairy Foods and was Managing Editor of Prepared Foods.

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