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Coca-Cola to Remove 'Harmful Chemicals' in Sports Drinks: What's Brominated Vegetable Oil?

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By Daniel Joseph Cruz | May 7, 2014 4:26 PM EST

Coca-Cola has recently confirmed the removal of the harmful chemical, brominated vegeteble oil (BVO), in its "Powerade" sports drinks brand. The additive will be eliminated in ready-to-drink beverages and fountain-machine formulas.

Reuters
Coca-cola plans to remove Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) ingredient linked to memory loss, skin and nerve problems. (Photo: Reuters)

The company's spokesman said its Powerade drinks are now free of brominated vegetable oil, an ingredient linked to a flame retardant, as reported by the Associated Press. The report added the ingredient "improves stability and prevents certain ingredients from separating."

The campaign to remove BVO in sports drinks was all started by a Mississippi teenager named Sarah Kavanagh. She started her noble fight in calling out huge food and beverage companies to remove harmful ingredients in food in January 2013.

Coming from a volleyball practice, she got curious about the "Orange Gatorade" that she drank. She studied the ingredients and found BVO. Having known the banned ingredient in Japan and Europe, she spearheaded the petition against "PepsiCo" to remove BVO in Gatorade.

A year has passed and she made a similar petition for Powerade. Succeeding in her cause, Coca-cola removed the harmful ingredient in its sports drink.

According to the information that Sarah learned from Scientific American, the flame retardant BVO creates a bad build-up in the human body, including breast milk. The article also cited the hazardous substance has "links to impaired neurological development, reduced fertility, early onset of puberty and altered thyroid hormones," as Kavanagh listed in her Change.org petition.

With the removal of BVO in Powerade, Coca-cola will replace it with sucrose acetate isobutyrate or glycerol ester of rosine, an emulsifier which is categorized generally as a safe food additive by Food and Drug Administration.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Coca-cola plans to remove Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) ingredient linked to memory loss, skin and nerve problems. (Photo: Reuters)
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