Why is Mountain Dew Banned? Exploring the Controversial Ingredient That lead to the Ban

Have you ever noticed that you can rarely find Mountain Dew on the shelves of certain countries and regions? It’s not just a marketing strategy or distribution issue – some areas have actually banned the popular soda altogether. But why? What could be so dangerous or controversial about a bright green carbonated beverage?

Well, the answer is a little more complicated than you might think. While Mountain Dew’s main ingredients are simple enough (carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, and natural flavors), there’s one component that has sparked controversy and concern: brominated vegetable oil. This additive helps the soda’s flavors remain evenly distributed, but it’s also linked to potential negative health effects – such as thyroid issues, nerve damage, and skin lesions.

But why is Mountain Dew the only soda to include this additive? And why haven’t companies in other countries taken a stand against it? The answers to these questions are still shrouded in mystery and speculation, but it’s clear that some people believe Mountain Dew’s formula is more harmful than other brands – and they’re taking action to prevent it from being sold in their communities.

The History of Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew, a carbonated soft drink that is renowned for its citrusy taste, was first introduced in 1940. Back then, Mountain Dew was a slang term for the moonshine that was popular in the Appalachian region of the United States. The creator of Mountain Dew, Barney and Ally Hartman, intended to create a mixer for hard liquor.

The original Mountain Dew was a lime-flavored soda that was marketed towards the Tennessee and Kentucky markets. However, it wasn’t until the 1960s when the brand gained national distribution under the ownership of PepsiCo Inc. Mountain Dew was able to capture the hearts of young people with its appeal towards thrill-seeking audiences such as race car drivers, skiers, and snowboarders. The brand marketed itself as the beverage of choice for extreme sports enthusiasts.

Over the years, Mountain Dew has gone through numerous alterations to its formula and packaging – from the original lime flavor to the current citrus mix. The soda has also branched out to develop several line extensions, such as Code Red, Voltage, and Baja Blast.

The Ingredients of Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew may be one of the most popular soft drinks in America, but its ingredients are controversial, to say the least. From its high sugar and caffeine content to the use of artificial colors and controversial additives, Mountain Dew has long been the subject of debate. Here are the ingredients that make up this iconic green soda:

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup: This is the primary sweetener in Mountain Dew, and it’s been linked to a host of health problems, including obesity and diabetes.
  • Caffeine: Mountain Dew contains 54mg of caffeine per 12-ounce serving, which is more than Coke or Pepsi but less than coffee.
  • Citric Acid: This ingredient is used to add a tangy flavor to the soda. While it’s naturally found in citrus fruits, the citric acid in Mountain Dew is actually made from mold.
  • Yellow 5: This is an artificial coloring used to give the soda its signature green color. It has been linked to hyperactivity in children.
  • Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO): BVO is a controversial additive used to keep the Mountain Dew’s flavoring from separating. It’s also been linked to a variety of health problems, including thyroid issues, skin lesions, and memory loss.

It’s worth noting that some of these ingredients, like caffeine and citric acid, are found in many other soft drinks. However, it’s the combination of these ingredients that has led some to question the safety of Mountain Dew. Additionally, some of the ingredients, like BVO, have been banned in other countries. And while Mountain Dew is still legal in the United States, it’s important to be aware of what exactly you’re consuming when you crack open a can.

For those who are looking for a healthier soda option, there are several organic and natural alternatives to Mountain Dew that use only natural ingredients and are free from artificial additives. Some examples include Zevia, Virgil’s, and Reed’s.

Ingredient Function
High Fructose Corn Syrup Sweetener
Caffeine Stimulant
Citric Acid Flavor Enhancer
Yellow 5 Artificial Coloring
Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) Emulsifier/Stabilizer

Overall, while the ingredients in Mountain Dew may not be the healthiest, they are not necessarily unique to this particular soda. For those who choose to consume it, it’s important to do so in moderation and consider exploring alternative options that use natural ingredients.

The harmful effects of Mountain Dew

As tasty as Mountain Dew may be, it is important to know about the negative effects it can have on your body. The high sugar content and artificial ingredients in this soda can lead to several health problems, including:

  • Weight gain: Mountain Dew contains an excessive amount of sugar – a 20-ounce bottle contains 77 grams of sugar, which is more than the recommended daily intake of sugar for men and women. Drinking Mountain Dew regularly can lead to weight gain and even obesity.
  • Tooth decay: The high sugar content of Mountain Dew can lead to tooth decay and cavities, especially if consumed frequently and over a long period of time. The acid in the soda can also erode tooth enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay.
  • Increased risk of diabetes: The high sugar content in Mountain Dew can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Regular consumption of sugary drinks like Mountain Dew can also lead to insulin resistance.

The caffeine content of Mountain Dew

Another harmful component of Mountain Dew is its caffeine content. A 20-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew contains 91 milligrams of caffeine, which is more than a can of Coke. While caffeine can have some benefits, like increased focus and energy, it can also lead to the following:

  • Insomnia: If you consume Mountain Dew too close to bedtime, the caffeine can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Anxiety and jitters: Drinking Mountain Dew or other caffeinated beverages can cause feelings of anxiety, restlessness, and jitters. This can be especially problematic for those with anxiety disorders or sensitivity to caffeine.
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure: High doses of caffeine can increase heart rate and blood pressure, which can be dangerous for some individuals like those with heart disease.

The artificial colors and flavors in Mountain Dew

Aside from sugar and caffeine, Mountain Dew also contains artificial colors and flavors that can be harmful to our health. Many of the artificial colors used in Mountain Dew, like Yellow 5, have been linked to hyperactivity, allergies, and even cancer in some studies. The artificial flavors used in Mountain Dew can also cause digestive issues and other symptoms like headaches and mood swings.

The bottom line

Effect Mountain Dew’s Contribution
Weight gain 77 grams of sugar per 20-ounce bottle
Tooth decay High sugar content and acid that erodes tooth enamel
Risk of diabetes High sugar content can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
Insomnia and anxiety Caffeine content
Increased heart rate and blood pressure High doses of caffeine
Hyperactivity, allergies, and cancer Artificial colors (like Yellow 5)
Headaches and digestive issues Artificial flavors

While drinking Mountain Dew in moderation may not be harmful to everyone, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with consuming this soda regularly. Opting for water, herbal tea, or other low-sugar and low-caffeine beverages is a healthier choice for your body.

The reasons why Mountain Dew is banned in certain countries

Mountain Dew, a popular carbonated soft drink, is manufactured by PepsiCo. While it’s a beloved beverage in many countries, it’s also banned in some places due to various reasons. Let’s explore the reasons why Mountain Dew is banned in certain countries.

High caffeine content

One of the primary reasons for Mountain Dew being banned in some countries is its high caffeine content. The drink contains around 55mg of caffeine per 12-ounce serving. While caffeine is known to improve alertness and focus, it can also pose serious health risks if consumed in large quantities. Some countries have strict regulations on caffeine content in food and beverages, and Mountain Dew doesn’t meet those standards.

Food coloring additives

  • Yellow 5 (Tartrazine)
  • Yellow 6 (Sunset Yellow)

Mountain Dew contains food coloring additives that are used to enhance its appearance. However, some of these additives have been linked to various health concerns, and that’s why Mountain Dew is banned in some countries. Two food coloring additives, yellow 5 (tartrazine) and yellow 6 (sunset yellow), are particularly controversial since they are associated with hyperactivity in children and carcinogenic effects.

Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)

Mountain Dew includes a controversial ingredient called Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO), which is banned in several countries. BVO is an emulsifier that allows the citric acid found in the beverage to be suspended uniformly. However, studies have linked BVO to several health concerns, including neurological symptoms, skin disorders, and thyroid problems. That’s why the ingredient is banned in countries like Japan, India, and the European Union.

Legal restrictions

Country Reason for ban
Central African Republic Banned all soft drinks due to health concerns.
Iran List of US products banned as part of ongoing sanctions.
Sudan Banned all PepsiCo products due to potential contamination.
India Banned sales of some varieties due to high levels of pesticides.

In addition to health concerns, legal restrictions in some countries are preventing Mountain Dew from being sold. For example, in Iran, the drink is included in the list of US products banned as part of ongoing sanctions. Sudan banned all PepsiCo products due to potential contamination. In India, some varieties of Mountain Dew were banned due to high levels of pesticides.

Whether to protect people’s health or to comply with legal restrictions, banning Mountain Dew in certain countries shows how the government and other organizations prioritize public safety.

Alternatives to Mountain Dew

For those who are looking for alternatives to Mountain Dew, there are a number of options available that can provide similar flavors and caffeine boosts without the negative health effects. Here are five alternatives to consider:

  • Sprite: If you’re in the mood for a citrusy drink without the caffeine, Sprite is a good choice. It has similar flavors to Mountain Dew, but without any of the added caffeine or artificial colors.
  • Rebel Yell: For those who are looking for an energy drink without the negative health effects, Rebel Yell is a good choice. It’s a natural energy drink that provides a boost of energy without any synthetic ingredients.
  • SodaStream: If you’re looking for a way to make your own soda at home, SodaStream is a great option. It allows you to create your own flavors and control the amount of sugar and caffeine that goes into your drink.
  • Bai Antioxidant Infusions: Another good alternative to Mountain Dew is Bai Antioxidant Infusions. They provide a natural, low-calorie way to get a boost of energy without any synthetic ingredients.
  • Green Tea: For those who want to avoid soda altogether, green tea is a great option. It provides a natural caffeine boost and has a variety of health benefits, including decreased risk of heart disease and increased weight loss.

In summary, there are a number of alternatives to Mountain Dew that can provide similar flavors and caffeine boosts without the negative health effects. Whether you choose to go with a natural energy drink, a low-calorie soda, or green tea, there are plenty of options available to help you get the energy you need without sacrificing your health.

Public perception of Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew has garnered a reputation as a cultural icon, with its bold marketing strategies featuring extreme sports and youth culture. It is a popular beverage among teenagers and young adults, especially those who engage in high-energy activities, such as video games or extreme sports.

However, in recent years, Mountain Dew has faced criticism from various groups, including health professionals and advocacy groups. The soda’s high sugar content, artificial flavors, and caffeine levels have raised concerns about its impact on health. Studies have linked excessive soda consumption to obesity, diabetes, and other health issues.

Public concerns over BVO

  • Brominated Vegetable Oil: In 2012, a Mississippi teenager started an online petition after discovering that Mountain Dew contained brominated vegetable oil (BVO), a chemical used to keep citrus flavoring from separating out of beverages. The petition, which gathered over 200,000 signatures, prompted PepsiCo, which owns Mountain Dew, to remove BVO from its formula.
  • Carcinogenic claims: Mountain Dew contains a chemical called 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI), which is a byproduct of the caramel coloring used to give the soda its distinctive brown color. The chemical has been linked to cancer in animal studies, although the levels found in soda are considered safe by the FDA.

Mountain Dew’s response to criticism

Mountain Dew has responded to public concerns by introducing a range of sugar-free and diet versions of the soda, which contain fewer calories and less sugar than the regular version. The company has also promoted the use of reusable bottles and reducing the environmental impact of its packaging.

However, critics argue that these measures do not go far enough to address the soda’s impact on health and the environment. Some advocacy groups are calling for a ban on Mountain Dew and other sugary beverages altogether, citing their negative health effects and contribution to the obesity epidemic.


In conclusion, while Mountain Dew is still popular among its target audience, its reputation has taken a hit as public awareness of health and environmental issues has increased. While the company has made some efforts to address these concerns, many critics argue that more needs to be done to combat the negative impact of sugary beverages on public health and the environment.

Pros Cons
Popular and iconic brand High sugar content and artificial flavors
Appeals to youth culture BVO and 4-MEI additives
Efforts to reduce environmental impact Criticism from health professionals and advocacy groups

Overall, the public perception of Mountain Dew has shifted from a beloved beverage to a controversial product with health and environmental concerns. It remains to be seen whether the company’s efforts to address these concerns will be enough to satisfy critics and win over consumers.

The Future of Mountain Dew as a Brand

Despite its controversies, Mountain Dew’s future as a brand remains promising. While the company had to make some changes to certain flavors, the brand itself remains strong and has continued to expand its product line and appeal to a wider audience. Here are four reasons why Mountain Dew’s future is bright:

  • Marketing Campaigns: Mountain Dew has always been known for its bold and unique marketing campaigns, and this trend has continued in recent years. The “Do the Dew” campaign, in particular, has been wildly successful and has helped solidify the brand’s identity.
  • New Products: In addition to classic flavors such as Code Red and Voltage, Mountain Dew has recently introduced new products such as Mountain Dew Ice and Mountain Dew Game Fuel. These new flavors help keep the brand fresh and appeal to a wider audience.
  • Brand Loyalty: Despite the controversies surrounding Mountain Dew, the brand still has a devoted fanbase that remains loyal to the brand. This loyalty helps ensure that Mountain Dew remains a strong player in the soft drink industry.
  • Expansion: Mountain Dew has recently expanded into new territories, such as energy drinks and sparkling water. This expansion allows Mountain Dew to reach new audiences and further solidify its place in the beverage industry.

Overall, while Mountain Dew has faced some setbacks and controversies, the brand remains strong and continues to grow. With its unique marketing campaigns, new products, brand loyalty, and expansion, Mountain Dew is well-positioned to continue to thrive in the years to come.

7 FAQs About Why is Mountain Dew Banned

1. Is Mountain Dew really banned?

No, Mountain Dew is not banned in the United States. However, there have been concerns about certain ingredients in the drink.

2. Why are some people concerned about Mountain Dew?

Some people have expressed concern about the high caffeine and sugar content in Mountain Dew. These ingredients can pose health risks if consumed in excess.

3. Has Mountain Dew been linked to any health problems?

There have been some reports that Mountain Dew may contribute to tooth decay, obesity, and other health problems. However, more research is needed to confirm these links.

4. Are there any restrictions on the sale of Mountain Dew?

There are no restrictions on the sale of Mountain Dew in the United States. However, some schools and other organizations have chosen to limit or ban the sale of sugary beverages like Mountain Dew to promote healthier habits.

5. What ingredients in Mountain Dew are causing concern?

The high levels of caffeine and sugar in Mountain Dew are the main ingredients causing concern. Caffeine can cause jitters, insomnia, and other side effects, while sugar can contribute to weight gain and other health problems.

6. How much Mountain Dew is safe to consume?

The amount of Mountain Dew that is safe to consume depends on a number of factors, including age, weight, and overall health. It is generally recommended to limit caffeine and sugar intake to moderate levels.

7. Are there any alternatives to Mountain Dew?

There are many alternatives to Mountain Dew, such as water, herbal tea, and low-sugar sports drinks. These alternatives can provide hydration and energy without the potential health risks of Mountain Dew.

Closing Thoughts

Thank you for taking the time to read our article on why Mountain Dew is banned. While the drink is not banned in the US, there are still concerns about its high caffeine and sugar content. It is always important to make informed choices about what we eat and drink, and to be mindful of our health. We hope that this article has helped you better understand the potential risks of Mountain Dew, and we invite you to come back to our site for more informative articles in the future!