Gatorade to remove controversial ingredient from its sports drinks in the U.S.

Comments Off January 28, 2013 at 11:51 am by Food in Canada magazine staff

Hattiesburg, Miss. – A Mississippi teenager says her campaign to have a flame retardant ingredient removed from Gatorade sports drinks has succeeded.

The teen, Sarah Kavanagh, launched a petition on Change.org late last year calling on Gatorade to remove the ingredient called brominated vegetable oil or BVO from its drinks. The petition attracted 200,000 supporters.

According to the website Change.org, it was the petition that spurred the move by Gatorade.

It wasn’t the petition that did it

But the company says the move was being planned way before the petition emerged, reports the VancouverSun.com. In the story, Gatorade says it began hearing of complaints about BVO from consumers more than a year ago.

Kavanagh says her petition came about after searching the Internet for information on the ingredients in the Orange Gatorade she was drinking.

She found an article on Scientific American that said BVO is linked to chemical residues inside children and contamination of breast milk. The article also says there’s a connection between brominated flame retardants to impaired neurological development, reduced fertility, early onset of puberty and altered thyroid hormones.

Her petition notes that the ingredient shares an element, bromine, with flame retardants used in furniture and plastics, reports the Sun-Sentinel.com.

It’s illegal to use the chemical as a food additive in Canada, the EU, India, Nepal, Brazil and Japan. In the U.S., the ingredient is not banned.

BVO remains in a number of other popular PepsiCo and Coca-Cola products such as Mountain Dew, Fresca and Powerade.