You may not know this, but certain citrus flavors of Gatorade contains an ingredient called brominated vegetable oil. The bromine chemical in the ingredient is somewhat controversial as it’s used in flame retardants. As such, it’s illegal to use as a food additive in most countries except for the United States and Canada. Some companies, however, are beginning to voluntarily remove the ingredient from their products.
Reuters reports that PepsiCo will be removing BVO from its citrus flavored Gatorade drinks in the coming months. Many people are attributing the change to a petition started by a 15-year-old girl named Sarah Kavanagh from Mississippi. Kavanagh’s petition on Change.org had received more than 200,000 signatures before PepsiCo announced the change.
Speaking to Reuters, a spokesperson for Gatorade said that the change wasn’t the direct result from any one petition. The company says that it had planned to remove the ingredient for some time now, but the public announcement just happened to come as soon as Kavanagh’s petition went viral.
That being said, Kavanagh is still celebrating the victory that she shares with numerous food safety watchdog groups around the nation. One in particular, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told Reuters that it applauds “PepsiCo for doing the responsible thing and voluntary getting [BVO] out of Gatorade.”
Gatorade may be ridding itself of BVO, but numerous other citrus soft drinks include the controversial ingredient. The removal from Gatorade may convince soft-drink manufacturers to remove it from their other products though.