Not long ago, it was announced to the general public of Saint Petersburg that the popular beverage, Gatorade, would have a new ingredients list. With so many fans, it might seem odd that the company would risk altering flavor.
But further investigation will reveal good reason for that important decision and will likely make one wonder why the same isn’t being done with similar beverages.
Brominated Vegetable Oil is a synthetic chemical that has been patented as a flame retardant. It had been banned as a food and beverage ingredient in the European market, but continues to be used in many common beverages on the shelves in this country.
It has long been used in beverages – including Gatorade – for its emulsification properties. That is to say that it has the ability to keep citrus flavor well blended with the other liquid ingredients. Otherwise, the flavoring would rise to the surface creating an undesirable appearance to the many sodas and sports beverages.
Gatorade, a product of Pepsi Co., will no longer contain BVO as the company recently made the decision to have the ingredient removed and replaced with a known alternative. While the company argues that the decision was not based on any known health concerns, one can’t help but be skeptical regarding that statement.
Researchers do point out that the toxic effects of BVO are not thought to be a concern at low levels, even over a prolonged period of time. But cases have been reported of customers drinking large volumes of the soft drinks or sports drinks – the equivalent of five cans or more daily – and suffering bromide poisoning.
While the incidences are rare, medical professionals have suggested that further testing should be done to determine how safe BVO really is. Many experts have voiced concerns that BVO consumption could be linked to problems with fertility, troubled thyroid production, and even some forms of cancer.
There are still a number of sodas and competitors of Gatorade on the market in St. Petersburg that contain BVO. The FDA has not found the ingredient unacceptable, so the decision will be left to the manufacturers.
A personal injury attorney should be contacted if you believe that a member of your family has suffered from Bromide poisoning.