PepsiCo Inc will be removing a potentially harmful chemical from their Gatorade drinks following growing concerns of the safety of the ingredient.
What’s being removed is called brominated vegatible oil or BVO, which is an ingredient also found in fire retardants. It is a synthetic chemical which has atoms of the element bromine bonded to it. In it’s natural state bromine is corrosive and toxic with properties similar to that of chlorine or iodine. Not something you want to be ingesting.
In Gatorade, the BVO was utilized in the Orange and Lemonade varieties and is used to keep the citrus-flavour evenly distributed. Athletes everywhere better hope they’ve been drinking the red kind!
Gatorade has reportedly been working to create a version without BVO for some time, they will be replacing it with sucrose acetate isobutyrate (SAIB) which PepsiCo has been using for over a year in some of their other beverages without causing problems to the flavour. A 15-year old girl in Mississippi created an online petition to have the ingredient removed which generated more than 200,000 signatures. PepsiCo denies removing the ingredient as a result of the petition, although the girl has claimed she is victorious.
What’s interesting is that PepsiCo is clearly acknowledging the ingredient is hazardous yet they will not be removing the ingredient from Mountain Dew at this time.
BVO has been described as a “poorly tested and possibly dangerous food additive” according to the Centre for Science in the Public Interest’s executive director Michael Jacobson.
Its quite frightening to think of all the harmful things we are putting into our bodies everyday unknowingly. It’s one thing to know there is aspartame in diet soda, for example, and still drink it knowingly; but it’s different when you find out you’ve been ingesting something for a prolonged period which contains an ingredient they are very well aware could be harmful.
I do still offer kudos to PepsiCo for proactively removing the ingredient before they were forced to by the government. I just suggest you don’t drink Mountain Dew.