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Chemicals banned in Europe still make their way into US foods

Published: 23 January, 2013, 23:33 Reuters / Mike Blake

Have you ever tasted a soft drink so good you thought it should be illegal? In some parts of the world, ingredients used in beverages available across the United States are outlawed — but not because they’re dangerously delicious.

Drinks including Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Powerade and Squirt are all commonly available at restaurants and convenience stores across the US. If you’re overseas and thirsty for one of many products made by PepsiCo, Cocoa-Cola or the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, you might get something entirely different. Brominated vegetable oil, an ingredient used by those manufacturers in an array of beverages, is banned in locales like Europe and Japan.

The New York Times reports that around 10 percent of drinks sold in the US contain brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, but elsewhere things are a bit different. Beverages overseas are stripped of the chemical, used usually to help distribute flavor, with foreign health officials citing some serious medical concerns as the reason for the ban.

Chemicals banned in Europe still make their way into US foods

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