Is BVO Kosher?

The Times reports on the possible health issues of BVO, an additive found in Gatorade and other drinks. According to Jewish law, the chemical is kosher. But given the health risks, we don't think anyone should consume it.

We are told that, "about 10 percent of drinks sold in the United States contain brominated vegetable oil, including Mountain Dew, also made by PepsiCo; Powerade, Fanta Orange and Fresca from Coca-Cola; and Squirt and Sunkist Peach Soda, made by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group."

The Times reports on a young woman who started a petition on Change.org to ask for the removal of brominated vegetable oil from Gatorade.

This information about the chemical in the article is particularly troubling:
...While most people have limited exposure to brominated vegetable oil, an extensive article about it by Environmental Health News that ran in Scientific American last year found that video gamers and others who binge on sodas and other drinks containing the ingredient experience skin lesions, nerve disorders and memory loss.

Michael F. Jacobson, co-founder and executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said some studies show that B.V.O. collects in fatty tissues, raising questions about what its effect might be during weight loss. Dr. Jacobson, who looked into the research on brominated vegetable oil after being asked about it by The New York Times, concluded, “The testing of B.V.O. is abysmal.”

He said the longest studies of the ingredient he could find covered only four months, while most food additives are usually tested for two years, making it impossible to establish a safe level of consumption.

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