Coca-Cola announced recently that it will phase out brominated vegetable oil (BVO), a controversial ingredient, from its Powerade sports drink.
Both Europe and Japan have banned the oil, which was originally designed as a flame retardant, though it continues to show up on ingredient lists in the United States.
BVO was targeted by Mississippi teenager Sarah Kavanagh, who questioned its use in the drink, especially because Powerade is used by health-conscious athletes. When she brought the issue to Change.org, over 200,000 people signed her petition to remove the added ingredient.
"Consumers are coming together quickly and efficiently to influence the world's biggest beverage companies in an unprecedented manner," Pulin Modi, senior campaign manager for Change.org, said.
Coca-Cola is just one of many food makers to recently revise their ingredient lists under consumer pressure. Subway, for example, vowed to remove the “yoga mat chemical” or azodicarbonamide from its bread because of its link to asthma and other respiratory issues.
Bottles of fruit punch and strawberry lemonade flavored Powerade no longer list BVO as an ingredient, though other flavors still do, suggesting that Coca-Cola will gradually remove the ingredient from its product.
PepsiCo, who manufactures Gatorade and is Coca-Cola’s competition for sports drinks, removed brominated vegetable oil from its products last year.