Coke and Pepsi to Drop BVO

Written By: Gloria Tsang, RD

Title: Founding Registered Dietitian

Alumni: University of British Columbia

Last Updated on:

I started writing about brominated vegetable oils (BVO) since early 2013, and reported that Gatorade (a division of Pepsi) announced it would remove BVO from its line. After a year and a half of public pressure, by May 2014 both Coke and Pepsi finally agreed to remove BVO from all of their drinks. Products affected in this announcement include Mountain Dew, Powerade, Amp, Fresca, and Fanta. Coke announced that BVO removal will be completed by the end of the year; Pepsi didn’t specify a timeline.

It’s late, but still better than never.

banned BVO in soda and drinks

The Controversy of BVO

I don’t want to repeat myself from my previous BVO post, but briefly, BVO is known as a “flame retardant.” Animal studies done as early as the ’70s and ’80s showed adverse health effects.

Sometimes I wonder why health authorities didn’t learn from each other. The UK has banned BVO since 1970, so why is it taking so long for North American authorities to reach the same conclusion?

What Soda or Drinks Still Contain BVO?

In October 2023, California became the first State to ban 4 food additives; one of them is brominated vegetable oil. And on November 2nd 2023, FDA proposed to ban BVO, citing potential damage to human health (particularly thyroid) from a recent rat study. Most major drink companies have removed BVO already, however it’s tricky to compile a complete list as there are many generic store brands. Check the label of any soft drinks or sports drinks to be sure. Here is a list drinks that contain BVO currently available on the market.

  • Sun Drop
  • Walmart Great Value Mountain Lightning Citrus Soda
  • Walmart Great Value Orangette
  • Walmart Great Value Fruit Punch Soda Pop

With or without BVO, soda and sports drinks are mostly empty-calorie drinks. Stick to water, tea, or coffee instead.


beverages, bvo, food additives, soda


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