to remove controversial chemical from Fanta, other drinks
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[May 06, 2014]
NEW YORK (Reuters)
ó The Coca-Cola Company said on Monday it will remove a
controversial flavoring stabilizer from some of its drinks,
following rival PepsiCo Inc's announcement earlier this year that it
would drop the same ingredient from its drinks.
The ingredient, brominated vegetable oil (BVO), is a
chemical containing bromine, which is found in fire retardants.
Small quantities of BVO are used legally in some citrus-flavored
drinks in the United States to keep the flavor evenly distributed.
Coca-Cola said the ingredient was dropped from two flavors of its
Powerade drink - fruit punch and strawberry lemonade - earlier this
year. The company expects to remove it from its Fanta and Fresca
sods, and as well as citrus-flavored fountain drinks, by year's end
for U.S. consumers.
The company said it will also remove the ingredient in its products
sold globally but did not provide a timeline.
Coke, which has said its use of BVO was safe for consumers, will use
as a replacement sucrose acetate isobutyrate, which it has used for
over a decade in some drinks, or glycerol ester of rosin, a
ingredient commonly found in chewing gums and drinks, the company
The use of the chemical in sports drinks has drawn concern from
consumers as well as from a Mississippi teenager, Sarah Kavanagh,
who circulated two online petitions to put pressure on Coca-Cola and
PepsiCo to remove the ingredient from their drinks.
Kavanagh's PepsiCo petition received more than 200,000 signatures
and, after the company announced the change in late January, the
teenager declared victory. The Coca Cola petition had been signed by
some 60,000 people as of Monday.
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"I knew that if Gatorade could do the right thing, so could
Powerade," Kavanagh said. "Iím glad to know the Powerade sold at my
school and consumed by people around the world will be a little bit
healthier without BVO in it."
According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a food
safety watchdog group, BVO is a "poorly tested and possibly
dangerous food additive and there's no reason to use it in Gatorade
or other drinks."
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner, editing by Edith Honan and Cynthia
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