Coca-Cola, Pepsi drop BVO from all drinks

Comment on this story


IOL pic may6 pepsi Coca Cola Ingredient bvo

Associated Press

The ingredients on a bottle of Mountain Dew are photographed in San Francisco on May 5, 2014. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo will drop brominated vegetable oil from all of their drinks. Picture: Jeff Chiu

New York -

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo said on 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 flavours more evenly in fruit-flavoured 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 flavours of Fanta, Fresca and several citrus-flavoured fountain drinks. The company said BVO should be phased out in the US 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 Centre 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 on Monday. Earlier in the day, however, she said: “It's really good to know that companies, especially big companies, are listening to consumers.” - Sapa-AP


sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

     

Join us on

IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks