You may not have heard of brominated vegetable oil, but the food additive, similar to the chemical used in flame retardants, won’t be showing up in most of your sports drinks anymore, thanks to a petition started by a concerned teenager. Coca-Cola, the parent company of Powerade, has followed Gatorade and agreed to stop putting the chemical, which is used as a flavor separator, in its sports drinks.
Mississippi teenager Sarah Kavanagh and Atlanta resident Aveyca Price started the campaign against BVO last year, and collected more than 200,000 signatures on a Change.org campaign from advocates, athletes, health experts, and everyday people around the world, forcing both Gatorade and Powerade to cut out the chemical completely. Brominated vegetable oil is actually banned in most of Europe and Asia, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has categorized the food additive as “generally recognized as safe.”
“I couldn’t just sit back knowing that a locally based company like Coca-Cola was feeding people this controversial chemical that’s banned in so many countries,” Aveyca Price said in a statement. “No matter what the corporations think is right, consumers have the power to keep ourselves as healthy as we can.”
The chemical is still used in many beverages like Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, Snapple, and PepsiCo varieties, as well as Fanta, some Sunkist flavors, and Mountain Dew.
Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi