from natural news: A substance patented as a flame retardant and banned as a food ingredient throughout Europe and in Japan is present in 10% of all soft drinks in the US. The December 12, 2011 issue of Environmental Health News reviews the history of this toxic ingredient, including the fact that "extreme soda binges - not too far from what many video gamers regularly consume" have resulted in skin lesions, memory loss and nerve disorders. Mountain Dew, Fanta Orange, Squirt, some flavors of Gatorade and Powerade, as well as other fruit-flavored beverages contain brominated vegetable oil (BVO). On the Nutrition Connection page of its website, the Coca-Cola Company, which manufactures Fanta, defines BVO's as "stabilizers to prevent the citrus flavoring oils from floating to the surface in beverages." In other words, as Environmental Health News explains, BVO weighs down the citrus flavoring so that it mixes with the other soda ingredients, just as flame retardants slow down the chemical reactions which can cause fires.