One day my Dr. Oz obsessed mother decided to throw away all the Gatorade in the house. I asked her why she was doing this and she just said, “Dr. Oz told me so.” I thought this sounded so ridiculous so I decided to look into it. Turns out there is an ingredient in Gatorade that is considered toxic. This ingredient is called Brominated Vegetable Oil. This chemical is unnecessary to the taste of the drink, and is only used to keep the colors and other ingredients from separating. Some side effects of this chemical include, “thyroid issues, such as hypothyroidism, autoimmune disease and cancer.” The reason why Gatorade is able to get this product passed by regulation is because the United States FDA allows a certain amount of this chemical into your drinks. Apparently small quantities of the chemical are not toxic. The part that is the most concerning is the fact that this chemical is banned in Europe and just recently has been banned in Japan. Gatorade is such a monstrosity of a company that obviously they sell their product internationally, including Europe and Japan. How does Gatorade get this toxic, banned chemical approved in Japan and Europe? Gatorade changes the recipe. Thats right. If you purchase a Gatorade in Japan or Europe the chemical compound differs from the Gatorade you are getting in the United States. Gatorade has a suitable replacement for this toxic chemical. Why does the United States still get Gatorade products with a potentially toxic chemical? Why does the United States allow companies to put toxic chemicals into our drinking beverages? Another thing I found particularly interesting is how the FDA approval process works. Apparently there is a large loophole, or flaw in the system. As the New York Times explains,
” A company can create a new additive, publish safety data about it on its Web site and pay a law firm or consulting firm to vet it to establish it as “generally recognized as safe” — without ever notifying the F.D.A., Mr. Neltner said.
About 10,000 chemicals are allowed to be added to foods, about 3,000 of which have never been reviewed for safety by the F.D.A., according to Pew’s research. Of those, about 1,000 never come before the F.D.A. unless someone has a problem with them; they are declared safe by a company and its handpicked advisers.”
This large loophole is extremely concerning. But this is not a science issue, just a political issue. But it seems as if this chemical is dangerous and Gatorade is taking advantage of the UNiterd States loophole and choosing to use this chemical exclusively in American drinks. So beware of your Gatorade, drink at your own risk.