Back to Specialty Food News

FDA Proposes Food Additive Ban

FDA proposed Thursday to revoke the regulation authorizing the use of brominated vegetable oil (BVO) in food. This news follows the recent California state ban on four food additives, including BVO.

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.

“Recent toxicology studies conducted in collaboration with the NIH have now given us conclusive scientific evidence to support our proposal to remove the FDA’s food additive authorization for BVO,” shared the FDA in a statement. “The proposed action is an example of how the agency monitors emerging evidence and, as needed, conducts scientific research to investigate safety-related questions, and takes regulatory action when the science does not support the continued safe use of additives in foods.”

BVO is a vegetable oil that is modified with bromine. It is authorized by the FDA for use in small amounts to keep the citrus flavoring from separating and floating to the top of some beverages. In 1970, the FDA determined BVO was no longer “generally recognized as safe” and began overseeing its use under food additive regulations.

Since then, many beverage makers reformulated their products to replace BVO with an alternative ingredient; today, few beverages in the U.S. contain the additive.

The FDA also added that is testing the other food additives included in the California ban, including Red dye no. 3, potassium bromate, and propylparaben. The state determined that these chemicals may lead to adverse health outcomes.

Related: California Food Safety Act Explained; ICYMI: Top Stories From October