- High school student Sarah Kavanaugh launched a Change.org petition that prompted PepsiCo to remove brominated vegetable oil (BVO) from Gatorade earlier this year.
- When it was added to Gatorade in 1969, BVO was "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) by the U.S. government, meaning the ingredient avoided regulation by being considered safe under conditions of intended use by food industry experts (and as of 1997, the FDA typically does not review the science behind such decisions).
- As a PepsiCo spokeswoman explained to The Associated Press, the company made the decision to remove BVO because consumers developed a "negative perception of BVO in Gatorade."
From the article:
"... BVO was on the 'safe' list when Stokely-Van Camp Inc. developed orange-flavored Gatorade in 1969. The FDA notes that BVO contains far less bromine than flame retardants and is considered safe for use in limited quantities in fruit-flavored drinks. It is used to emulsify citrus oil in fruit-flavored beverages including Mountain Dew, Fanta and Powerade.
The ingredient, which is banned as an additive in Japan and the European Union, will remain in orange Gatorade through this spring, said spokeswoman Molly Carter of PepsiCo, which now owns Gatorade. She added that the decision to drop it was sparked by consumer rumblings over the past year, not Kavanagh's petition specifically. ..."