Dr. Oz warns ingredient found in soft drinks also used as flame retardant

SOUTHFIELD (WXYZ) - Dr. Mehmet Oz is warning consumers to avoid certain soft drinks that contain an ingredient also used as a flame retardant.

In a Skype interview with 7 Action News, Dr. Oz said consumers should avoid brominated vegetable oil (BVO) in their beverages. It's found in citric soft drinks like Mountain Dew and Fanta.

"You might think, 'why would I add bromine to vegetable oil?' Well it turns out to be very effective if you have the citrus flavored drink to allow the material to mix in at the right amount. Otherwise there is layering," Oz said.

Bromine is also used as a flame retardant. "I worry about birth defects," said Oz. "I worry about hormone function. There are enough places where these hormonally active synthetic products can wreak havoc on your body."

Countries in Europe and Asia have already banned BVO for consumption, but it is permitted in the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration released the following statement to Channel 7:

FDA prioritizes its decisions in a risk-based manner to maximize its resources to protect public health. BVO is considered safe by FDA for use as a flavoring adjuvant in fruit-flavored beverages based on several long-term animal studies that were conducted on this substance.

Oz recommends drinking 100% fruit juice, but for those wanting some fizz, he suggests adding seltzer to fruit drinks.

Our requests for comment from Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola went unanswered.

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