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Coca-Cola does not usually follow in the footsteps of rival PepsiCo, but it has in the case of a controversial ingredient that it uses in Powerade. Last year, PepsiCo pulled the ingredient from its own sports drink brand, Gatorade.
The ingredient in question is brominated vegetable oil (BVO), according to The Associated Press. Sarah Kavanaugh of Minnesota started a Change.org petition to get the ingredient removed, since it is actually approved to be used as a flame retartdant. Kavanaugh also noted that the ingredient is banned in Japan and the European Union.
PepsiCo did drop BVO last year, but Coca-Cola did not make an immediate announcement. However, the AP reports that Coca-Cola may have dropped it without making a major announcement. Fruit punch and strawberry lemonade flavors in some parts of the country already no longer have BVO listed as an ingredient, although others still do. So, Coca-Cola appears to be in the process of phasing it out.
A rep for the company told the AP that Powerade is now “BVO-free,” but offered no further details.
This is the latest example of a company listening to consumers in the social networking age. In April, Subway began phasing out an ingredient linked to yoga mats that was used in its bread.
Kavanaugh’s Powerade petition garnered 59,000 signatures. She also created the Gatorade petition, which had 200,000 by the time PepsiCo dropped BVO.