Flame Retardant in My Coke?

Kelly Rutherford with children (Son Hermes and daughter Helena)

We all know that there is an enormous amount of sugar in sodas, but did you know that there is brominated vegetable oil (BVO) in over 10% of all soda’s sold in America?

Do you know what this chemical is? It’s a flame retardant for plastics. ‘Brominated’ means it’s been treated or bonded with bromine – “A nonmetallic heavy volatile corrosive dark brown liquid element belonging to the halogens; found in sea water.” My understanding is that they use this stuff to suspend the fruit flavoring in the drink, and that’s why it looks ‘cloudy’.

Eww. Double eww! We’ve been drinking this stuff for decades and it’s approved by the FDA? Apparently so. BVO’s are banned in over 100 countries, but not in the good ‘ole USA. You won’t find this garbage in Europe.

I’ve always known that soda’s were not exactly good for you, but seriously, I had no idea until I ran across this article from Environmental Health News. One almost gets the idea that someone is trying to make money even if it means shortening our lives, doesn’t it? Uh-huh.

Now just so no one will be confused by the title of this post, I was born and raised – and still live – in the South (by the grace of God!). And when I was growing up, everything some folks call a soda, we called ‘a coke.’ The only question was what kind of a coke you wanted.

Anyway, manufacturers of citrus-flavored cokes have been putting this stuff in our cold refreshments for a long time, and personally, I’m not keen on the idea of drinking another one. Drinks that contain this stuff include (but certainly not limited to):

  • Mountain Dew
  • Squirt
  • Fanta Orange, Pineapple
  • Sunkist Pineapple
  • Gatorade Thirst Quencher Orange
  • Powerade Strawberry, Lemonade
  • Fresca Original Citrus
  • Orange Crush
  • Sundrop

Fresca!? Really? Orange Crush!!!? Aww. Not my beloved Orange Crush! That hurt. And it’s not just soft drinks that contain this oil, BVO’s are also reportedly found in some bakery products and brands of pasta.

The FDA says products that include brominated vegetable oil must declare it in the list of ingredients. Check labels! Read the article linked to above. Do some research on the health consequences of putting flame retardant in your body before buying any more products that contain BVO.