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Coke, Pepsi dropping 'BVO' from all drinks

Coke, Pepsi Dropping 'BVO' From All Drinks

By CANDICE CHOI
AP Food Industry Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Coca-Cola and PepsiCo said Monday they're working to remove a controversial ingredient from all their drinks, including Mountain Dew, Fanta and Powerade.

The ingredient, called brominated vegetable oil, had been the target of petitions on Change.org by a Mississippi teenager who wanted it out of PepsiCo's Gatorade and Coca-Cola's Powerade. In her petitions, Sarah Kavanagh noted that the ingredient has been patented as a flame retardant and isn't approved for use in Japan and the European Union.

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have stood by the safety of the ingredient, which is used to distribute flavors more evenly in fruit-flavored drinks. But their decisions reflect the pressure companies are facing as people pay closer attention to ingredient labels and try to stick to diets they feel are natural. Several major food makers have recently changed their recipes to remove chemicals or dyes that people find objectionable.

While food companies stress that the ingredients meet regulatory requirements, their decisions reflect how marketing a product as "natural" has become priority and a competitive advantage.

PepsiCo had said last year that it would remove brominated vegetable oil from Gatorade. On Monday, the company said it has since been working to remove it from the rest of its products. PepsiCo also uses BVO in its Mountain Dew and Amp energy drinks.

The company, based in Purchase, New York, didn't provide a timeline for when it expects the removal to be complete.

Earlier on Monday, Coca-Cola had also said that it's removing the ingredient from all its drinks to be consistent in the ingredients it uses around the world. In addition to Powerade, Coca-Cola uses BVO in some flavors of Fanta, Fresca and several citrus-flavored fountain drinks. The company said BVO should be phased out in the U.S. by the end of the year.

Coca-Cola said it would instead use sucrose acetate isobutyrate, which it noted has been used in drinks for more than 14 years, and glycerol ester of rosin, which it said is commonly found in chewing gum and drinks.

A Coca-Cola spokesman, Josh Gold, noted that BVO isn't used in many other countries, but said it would be phased out in Canada and Latin America as well.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a health advocacy group, notes that the Food and Drug Administration permitted the use of BVO on an interim basis in 1970 pending additional study. Decades later, the group notes that BVO is still on the interim list.

Kavanagh, the Mississippi 17-year-old, had been planning on launching another petition on Change.org asking PepsiCo to remove BVO from all its drinks. She wasn't immediately available for comment late Monday. Earlier in the day, however, she said, "It's really good to know that companies, especially big companies, are listening to consumers."

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rickkytickkytock May 06 2014 at 7:22 AM

as another commented "when are you going to remove the Aspartame"? Aspartame is a very poisonous substance used as a sugar substitute in diet soda products. I don't drink any of the sodas anymore.....they just makes persons obese. I saw a very obese man at Walmart and he had SIX 12-PACKS of Coke in his cart. Probably wants to speed up his death.

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2 replies
bradford707joy rickkytickkytock May 06 2014 at 7:30 AM

I will never knowingly use anything containing Aspertane. IT CAN BE VERY HARMFUL TO YOUR KIDNEYS!

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frankdlu rickkytickkytock May 06 2014 at 7:41 AM

EVERYTHING IN MODERATION....6 TWELVE PACKS....GOOD FOR MY COKE STOCK....THANK HIM FOR ME...

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Jay Herrod May 06 2014 at 5:32 AM

Maybe that's what caused my thyroid to go under active and my having to be put on a med to correct for it, just a guess.

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1 reply
MICHELLE Jay Herrod May 06 2014 at 6:41 AM

Maybe your thyroid problem was caused by over-indulgence, and probably not just in soda, but in the foods you ate/eat?

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mindbender48 May 06 2014 at 4:45 AM

Flame retardent? That mean a poison, the government let this go on for how many years knowing it can cause some cancers? I see the government lets companies put in cancer causing ingrediants in our food, the spends billions trying to cure cancer or so they say. I think it is a way for the government to try to control the population.

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Fotini May 06 2014 at 4:31 AM

All I can say is good, in the states we have so much crap in our food and drinks one wonders if it is safe, I been in Germany for 3 weeks now and the food and drinks taste better since they are stricter with what can be out in their foods, ALSO I and my daughter have had tummy issues from heartbrun to aches since being here I have not had to take my Nexum and my daughter has not comlained about her tummy SO they doing something RIGHT,,,,,,,

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alfa55s May 06 2014 at 4:03 AM

i like pepsi the way it is i say drop the teenager and keep the BVO

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tonden123 May 06 2014 at 3:52 AM

I like Pepsi but my wife drinks coke, so I laughed at her

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Vdal May 06 2014 at 3:34 AM

stop drinking them, kid
drink water instead, to stay on the health path.
no one is ofrcing you to drink them.
and you think it's healthy once you rid of that BVO?
just stop drinking them, kid.

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tbudgirly2k May 06 2014 at 3:31 AM

Don't like it don't drink it.I am so sick of people taking things away from people who don't mind.Anything to stir up controversy.Who do these people think they are deciding what I should consume?I obviously don't mind it I have been drinking it for years so as I said before....If ya don't like it don't drink it

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Farlas May 06 2014 at 2:37 AM

If you don't want to consume BVO than don't consume products that contain it. Wanna launch a petition that really makes a difference? Try launching one that takes the theft out of taxes.

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1 reply
The Weary Cowboy Farlas May 06 2014 at 2:48 AM

I love Coke. I am not switching Let them fix the problems THEY made!!
I take a nice amount of GOOD vitamins per day. To help combat the effects of all the crap they add to our foods & drinks. Sick of todays world.....trying to give people cancer, etc. The goverment wants us DEAD. I am not quite ready to go!!

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1 reply
denbaum434 The Weary Cowboy May 06 2014 at 3:58 AM

Homeland security purchases 1 billion rounds of ammunition. Who do you think this is for. They want us all dead

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FIESTA & SIESTA May 06 2014 at 2:10 AM

Another thought - opened bottles of cola are used in bars to wipe things down and who hasn't poured a can of cola over a rusted battery!

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1 reply
realfloopyguy FIESTA & SIESTA May 06 2014 at 2:48 AM

Vodka can be used to sterilize your hands, baking soda neutralizes acid, and salt is made of an explosive and a poisonous gas.

Coke doesn't work any better than water as a battery terminal cleaner and I have never seen anyone clean a bar with it. While carbonic acid does a little in the way of cleaning, all uses like this are anecdotal. Someone driving down the road likely has a coke in their car before they would have a bottle of water or a terminal cleaner. I would expect that would be the real reason for it's use as a terminal cleaner in emergencies.

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