Updated at: 05-08-2023 - By: John Lau

Ever wondered why you can’t find Mountain Dew on the shelves in European grocery stores?

It’s because the popular American soft drink is actually banned in parts of Europe due to a controversial ingredient.

This article will delve into the reasons behind this ban, highlighting health concerns and regulations related to its ingredients. Keep reading to quench your thirst for answers!

Why is Mountain Dew Banned in Europe?

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BVO ingredient (Brominated Vegetable Oil)

Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO), the contentious ingredient found in Mountain Dew, is used as an emulsifier.

The unique composition helps citrus flavors mix better in soft drinks, providing a pleasing taste and appearance.

However, BVO isn’t just limited to enhancing flavor; it’s also a patented flame retardant for plastic.

This discovery led to health concerns, causing European countries and Japan to ban its use in food products like soft drinks.

Health complications linked with BVO include memory loss and other serious medical issues triggered by regular consumption as seen in soda binges with beverages such as Mountain Dew and Fresca that contain this substance.

Consequently, Mountain Dew became one of the American staple foods among several others banned due to ingredients posing significant health risks.

Health concerns and potential risks

The soft drink contains an ingredient called brominated vegetable oil, which has been linked to memory loss and other medical issues.

BVO is used as an emulsifier but is also a patented flame retardant for plastic. Due to these health risks, both the European Union (EU) and Japan have banned Mountain Dew, along with another soda called Fresca that also contains BVO.

This ban reflects the concern over the high sugar content in these drinks, which can contribute to empty calorie intake and serious health problems like alcoholism.

In fact, excessive consumption of sugary beverages like Mountain Dew has been linked to medical issues, making it important to avoid them altogether.

The Impact of BVO on Health

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Potential side effects and risks

Consuming Mountain Dew, especially in excessive amounts, can lead to various potential side effects and health risks.

One of the main concerns is its high sugar content, which increases the risk of developing health conditions like obesity and diabetes.

Additionally, the controversial ingredient found in Mountain Dew known as brominated vegetable oil  has been linked to memory loss and other cognitive issues.

BVO is a patented flame retardant used in plastics, but it has been banned as a food additive in Europe and Japan due to its potential health hazards.

It’s important to be aware of these risks associated with drinking Mountain Dew and consider healthier alternatives for your overall well-being.

Comparison to other countries’ regulations

Mountain Dew is one of the beverages that is regulated differently across the globe.

Its ban in countries such as Japan and parts of Europe is due to its controversial ingredient, Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO), a patented flame retardant.

Let’s take a look at how regulations differ in various countries.

Country Regulation
European Union Mountain Dew, along with other food items containing BVO, is banned due to potential health risks. The EU has stringent regulations on food additives, especially those linked to health concerns like memory loss.
Japan Similar to the EU, Japan also bans Mountain Dew because it contains BVO. The country has a reputation for rigorous food safety standards, often surpassing international norms.
United States Despite the health risks associated with BVO, Mountain Dew is not banned in the U.S. This discrepancy highlights the differences in food safety regulations between the U.S. and other countries. However, consumer pressure has led some companies to phase out BVO from their products.

These differences highlight the need for each nation to adopt a more global perspective when it comes to food safety standards.

This approach could prevent potential health risks and ensure that consumers across the world are consuming safe and wholesome beverages.

Alternatives to Mountain Dew in Europe

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Similar beverages without BVO

  • Mountain Lightning, a soda sold in Aldi stores, does not contain BVO.
  • Mtn Dew Kickstart, a line of beverages from Mountain Dew, is available in Europe and does not use BVO as an ingredient.
  • Sprite and 7Up are popular soft drinks that do not contain BVO.
  • Fanta, another well – known soda brand, is also free of this controversial ingredient.
  • Red Bull, the popular energy drink, does not include BVO in its formula.

European regulations on food additives

European regulations on food additives are stringent and prioritize consumer safety. The European Union (EU) has banned certain additives, including brominated vegetable oil, which is found in Mountain Dew and other beverages.

BVO is considered a controversial ingredient due to its potential health risks, such as memory loss and medical issues associated with excessive consumption. European countries have taken proactive measures to protect their citizens by enforcing strict regulations that prohibit the use of BVO as a food additive.

This ensures that consumers in Europe can enjoy soft drinks without being exposed to potentially harmful substances.


In conclusion, Mountain Dew is indeed banned in Europe due to the presence of brominated vegetable oil.

This controversial ingredient has been linked to health concerns and potential risks, leading the European Union and Japan to prohibit its use as a food additive.

As a result, consumers in Europe must seek alternative beverages without BVO if they want to enjoy a refreshing soda.