Eat Drink Better

Published on May 6th, 2014 | by Jennifer Kaplan


Coca-Cola Finally Eliminates Flame Retardant From Powerade

Powerade removes flame retardant

More than a year ago PepsiCo, makers of Gatorade, removed brominated vegetable oil (BVO), an ingredient that has been patented as a flame retardant, from its beverages. Coca-Cola, makers of Powerade, are finally getting on the band wagon.

It was news when PepsiCo agreed to remove brominated vegetable oil (BVO), an ingredient that has been patented as a flame retardant, from Gatorade. But despite all the news coverage, at that time Coca-Cola, held strong and refused to remove BVO from its beverages. We all knew it was just a matter of time. And, that time has come.

We can thank Sarah Kavanagh, a 15-year-old from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, for the change. Kavanagh spearheaded an online campaign that garnered more than 200,000 signatures. Kavanagh said she launched the petition after reading an article in Scientific American that said BVO is banned in Japan and Europe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers BVO safe at the low levels used in drinks. But some studies of animals have reportedly linked BVO to potential neurological problems, reduced fertility, and other health conditions.

A I mentioned when PepsiCo. made their announcement last year, BVO is also used in other PepsiCo beverages, such as Mountain Dew, and the company did not say whether it would remove the ingredient from those drinks as well. Similarly, Coca-Cola also uses BVO in Fanta and no word whether it will eliminate the controversial ingredient from those other drinks.

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About the Author

is a former marketing consultant who decided, at the age of fifty, to turn her hand to creative non-fiction. Jennifer continues to write about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for and is the author of Greening Your Small Business (November 2009, Penguin Group (USA)). She was named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster and an MBA - follow her on and .

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