Monday, May 5, 2014


A patented flame retardant that's banned in the European Union and Japan, and may be harmful to anyone who drinks it in large amounts, will no longer be used in Powerade.

Brominated vegetable oil or BVO is used in fruit-flavored drinks as a stabilizer for flavoring oils. It is also a patented flame retardant.

PepsiCo pulled BVO from Gatorade products in 2013.

Just what is in our mass made food and drinks? Nutrition Action is a publication from the Centre for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) which you may want to check out. You might recall a series of articles in The Telegram  by registered dietitian Amanda O’Brien about food additives in April. 

When I think of folks who drink Mountain Dew like my kids drink Milk and water, I shutter.  BVO is often added to drinks to keep citrus flavours from separating out. The food industry has been attempting to play down the additives and reducing levels to more "acceptable limits"...just wondering what is acceptable about using a fire retardant in a soft drink.

Consumer groups have been actively seeking out carcinogenic chemicals that are listed on the ingredient labels of soft drinks and other foods. They have uncovered a lot of surprises.

For example,  Subway pulled a chemical called  azodicarbonamide from its bread after Food blogger Vani Hari, of the popular food blog Food Babe,  drew public attention to this issue.

So what is  Azodicarbonamide? It is a compound used to make yoga mats! 

The American Bakers Association and the FDA say it is okay in appropriate low amounts. Seriously, appropriate low amounts. Azodicarbonamide is used as a softener in dough improving the volume and texture of bread. The Center for Science in the Public Interest says chemical has been used by commercial bakers  but has been poorly tested.

 A CNN report stated that A 1999 report from an international group of health experts, published by the World Health Organization, says some studies suggest that the chemical can induce asthma, based on evidence from people with symptoms and employees of facilities where the chemical is manufactured or used.

Azodicarbonamide is not legally allowed to be used as a dough improver in the European Union,  It is also banned in Australia.

Health Canada insists the  chemical found in hamburger buns and doughnuts — as well as yoga mats and shoe soles — in this country - is safe to eat.

Unlike in the United States, Canadian regulations do not require  manufacturers to label all additives used in standardized bakery products.

According to a Toronto Star story "“If azodicarbonamide has been added to flour and this flour is used as an ingredient in bread, or any other bakery product … azodicarbonamide would not have to be labelled on the final prepackaged food,” Health Canada spokesman Gary Holub confirmed. “A consumer would therefore need to inquire with individual bakeries to determine if their product uses flour that contains azodicarbonamide.”

I am not a scientist, so I know nothing about toxicity levels, but it feels wrong to be using chemicals used as fire retardants and  in the making of Yoga mats in our food.

Once again, lets all become a little more educated on what we are putting in our bodies.


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