Gatorade pulls 'fire retardant' additive

January 26, 2013

PepsiCo subsidiary Gatorade said Friday it was removing an ingredient from its popular citrus-flavored sports drink that has a second life as a fire retardant.

Brominated vegetable oil—patented as a chemical to help prevent flames from spreading—appears in a number of brands of in the United States as an emulsifier.

An online petition on Change.org launched by Mississippi high school student and volleyball player Sarah Kavanagh urging Gatorade to stop using BVO drew more than 200,000 signatures.

"While our products are safe, we are making this change because we know that some consumers have a negative perception of BVO in Gatorade," said company spokeswoman Molly Carter in a statement to the newspaper.

Concern about BVO, which is banned from food in Europe and Japan, grew after a December 2011 article in Scientific American in which scientists called for a reassessment of its safety.

Some soda binge-drinkers such as video game players "have needed medical attention for , memory loss and nerve disorders, all symptoms of overexposure to bromine," the respected magazine said.

"When I went to Change.org to start my petition, I thought it might get a lot of support because no one wants to gulp down flame retardant," Kavanagh, 15, said in a Change.org statement. "This is so, so awesome."

Related Stories

New study: Many flame retardants in house dust—unsafe levels

November 28, 2012

A peer-reviewed study of the largest number of flame retardants ever tested in homes found that most houses had levels of at least one flame retardant that exceeded a federal health guideline. The journal Environmental Science ...

Recommended for you

Can four fish oil pills a day keep the doctor away?

July 7, 2015

Fish oil is one of the most popular dietary supplements in the U.S. because of the perceived cardiovascular benefits of the omega-3 it contains. However, scientific findings on its effectiveness have been conflicting. New ...

4 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Yenaldlooshi
5 / 5 (2) Jan 26, 2013
Does this mean we will be seeing an increase in spontaneous combustion of people?
zz6549
3 / 5 (2) Jan 27, 2013
I hope these people don't realize water is a flame retardant as well. Next thing we know, Gatorade will only be purchasable in powdered form.
Trenchant
2 / 5 (2) Jan 28, 2013
"Some soda binge-drinkers such as video game players "have needed medical attention for skin lesions, memory loss and nerve disorders, all symptoms of overexposure to bromine," the respected magazine said."

They also have fat asses and no life. All symptoms of being a "gamer."

Caliban
not rated yet Jan 28, 2013
Hahahaha.

The real test of PepsiCo's resolve in providing a safe product to consumers will be in what they use to replace the BVO.

Dollars to donuts it's some compound with an equally questionable safety profile, if not worse.

Probably flourinated vegetable oil -taking their cue from plastics manufacturers switching the very nasty BPA with its (equally nasty) analog, BPS.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.