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Pressure On to Remove BVO From Soft Drinks

BVO effects

Image source: www.ahealthieryouisabetteryou.com

After pressure from online campaigns and outraged consumers, PepsiCo finally removed the controversial BVO, or Brominated Vegetable Oil, from their Gatorade products. Now, sport drink consumers are asking Powerade to do the same.

Brominated vegetable oil is a patented flame retardant and has been linked with negative health effects, including memory loss, skin lesions, and nerve disorders.

All are caused by too much bromine exposure. Because of the health concerns surrounding it, brominated vegetable oil has already been banned in Japan and Europe.

Yet many U.S. soft drink and sport drink companies still have products containing BVO, as up to 10 percent of entire U.S. soda market uses it.

It is mostly found in drinks with fruit flavors, like citrus and orange, and is currently used in Mountain Dew (all flavors, except for their Voltage flavor, including Throwback and Code Red), AMP energy drinks, and Fanta drinks.  The BVO is apparently used to keep fruity flavors from sinking to the bottom. But this necessity is questionable, as citrus flavored drinks like 7Up can do without BVO, so one would think Mountain Dew could make do without as well.

Powerade currently uses BVO in their fruit punch flavor, as Gatorade once did before it was petitioned by consumers and non-consumers alike to remove it. With enough supporters, Powerade may well their way to do the same. Hopefully it won’t end there, as many other companies could use a little nudge from those concerned with product safety. BVO is certainly not the only questionable ingredient in commercial beverages, let alone food, but its removal would help encourage the removal of other harmful additives in products and allow consumers to be better involved in the decision making process of what goes into the products they consume.

Current petitions to remove BVO from drink ingredients include a petition on change.org, the one that asks Powerade to follow Gatorade’s lead.

If all goes well, many more may soon arise.

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