Teen Starts Petition to Remove Flame Retardant From Gatorade

The petition on Change.org has more than 175,000 signatures
Thinkstock/ iStockphoto

A side of flame retardant in your Gatorade?

Another reason to toss out the Gatorade: one pesky ingredient called brominated vegetable oil, which isn't nearly as nutritious as it sounds. Brominated vegetable oil, aka BVO, is a patented flame retardant found in Gatorade and other beverages — but one teenager has created a petition to get BVO out of Gatorade. 

Mississippi teenager Sarah Kavanagh began a petition on Change.org, asking Gatorade and its parent company, PepsiCo, to remove BVO from its products. After finding BVO as an ingredient in her Orange Gatorade, and reading an article in Scientific American, she began to realize the dangers of the ingredient — which include reproductive and behavioral problems. Scientific American shared that BVO can build up in a person's tissue, and overexposure to bromine could cause skin lesions, memory loss, and nerve disorders. 

It prompted Kavanagh to produce the Change.org petition — which has received more than 175,000 signatures. "When I scroll through the comments on my petition, I see that athletes, construction workers, grandparents and parents, and so many other consumers are tired of not being able to trust companies that claim to be making healthy products," said Kavanagh in a press release. "Gatorade hasn’t responded to my petition yet, but I’m confident that Gatorade will realize that removing this chemical will be good both for consumers and for its bottom line." (PepsiCo has not yet responded to The Daily Meal for comment.) 


BVO is forbidden from use in the U.K., but is allowed in U.S. products. Gatorade has noted on its website that the ingredient is widely used by beverage makers, and "is used in very low levels in the production of select flavors of Gatorade."