Gatorade Will Remove Flame Retardant Chemical From Its Beverages

Gatorade will stop putting brominated vegetable oil (BVO), a synthetic chemical that is used as a flame retardant, into its products after a barrage of complaints, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Although the company has reportedly been considering removing BVO from its beverages for some time now, it was spurred to act after receiving overwhelming pressure from consumers regarding the potentially harmful chemical, including a popular petition that was initiated by 15-year-old Sarah Kavanagh:

A recent petition on to drop the chemical – which has more than 200,000 supporters – did not inspire the decision, Carter said, though she acknowledged that consumer feedback was the main impetus.

In the petition, posted by Sarah Kavanagh of Hattiesburg, Miss., “BVO” is described as banned in Japan and the European Union.

The effort quotes a Scientific American article suggesting that “BVO could be building up in human tissues” and that studies on mice have shown “reproductive and behavioral problems” linked to large doses of the chemical.

BVO is used to “distribute Gatorade’s coloring throughout the bottle” equally. The Times also reports that, while Gatorade will stop including BVO in newly produced drinks, there are no plans to recall products already on the market.