January 28, 2013
PepsiCo’s Gatorade contains brominated vegetable oil (BVO) that the corporation claims is used to keep the citrus flavor from separating within the liquid.
Sarah Kavanagh, a 15 year old from Mississippi, began a petition to have PepsiCo remove BVO from Gatorade because the ingredient is used as a flame retardant. Kavanagh’s petition entitled “Gatorade: Don’t put flame retardant chemicals in sports drinks!”, stated: The other day, I Googled “brominated vegetable oil.” It was the last time I drank Orange Gatorade. I found out that this “BVO” is a controversial flame retardant chemical that is in some Gatorade drinks! Who wants to drink that? Not me!”
Kavanagh thanked the more than 200,000 supporters of her petition: “Thank you all for your support. When I went to change.org to start my petition, I thought it might get a lot of support because no one wants to gulp down flame retardant, especially from a drink they associate with being healthy. But with Gatorade being as big as they are, sometimes it was hard to know if we’d ever win. This is so, so awesome. Companies like Gatorade put so much thought into marketing. As someone who loves to drink their products, I’m so glad they’re making strides to put as much consideration into their customers health.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was deemed generally safe in 1958. During the 1970s, BVO was restricted in its use as a food additive with a concentration of 15ppm. The FDA said that BVO is an interim food additive in the US and completely permissible in Canada. BVO has been banned in Japan and India while the European Union has not approved the substance for human use.
After the FDA approved BVO for use in products, adverse effects began to be reported. Reactions to the chemical include:
• Production of bromoderma lesions
• Memory loss
• Loss of muscle coordination
• Ptosis of the eye
BVO is also used by soft drink corporations to keep the carbonated drinks from becoming combustible.
PepsiCo describes BVO as a “widely used by beverage makers to help keep flavoring oils well blended. Since oil does not mix well with water, emulsifiers [like BVO] help dissolve and keep the flavor oils evenly distributed throughout the beverage. BVO, or brominated vegetable oil, is used in very low levels in the production of select flavors of Gatorade (all ingredients are listed in descending order by weight).”
Currently, BVO is used in many brand name soft drink products such as PepsiCo Gatorade and Mountain Dew; but also found in Coca-Cola soft drinks such as Powerade, Fanta Orange and Fresca; and Sunkist Peach Soda produced by Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.
Molly Carter, spokeswoman for Gatorade said in a prepared statement: “While our products are safe, we are making this change because we know that some consumers have a negative perception of BVO in Gatorade, despite being permitted for use in North American and Latin American countries. As part of this process, we began working on an alternative ingredient to BVO for the few Gatorade flavors that contain BVO more than a year ago.”
BVO will be replaced with sucrose acetate isobutyrate which is considered “generally safe” as a food additive by the FDA.
Last September, PepsiCo decided that aspartame, a neuro-toxin used in their diet cola products as a sweetener, is not “sweet enough” and are “testing a new mix of artificial sweeteners” that will retain its potency longer than high fructose corn syrup.
The new mixture of sweeteners being tested includes acesulfame-potassium, or ace-K. The problem PepsiCo has with aspartame is that it is affected negatively in warm conditions that occur during shipping before their soda products arrive in retail stores.
Ace-K, or acesulfame potassium , is a lab-created chemical that is 200 times sweeter than sucrose. Ace-K is suspected through research to have carcinogenic properties, yet this studied fact was dismissed and further studies were not conducted prior to the FDA approval.
In 2012, both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo had to change their recipe by removing a known carcinogen 4-methylimidazole (4-MI or 4-MEI) from its soft drinks. The compound is used to make the drink have its caramel coloring.
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have never denied their use of the deadly additive, nor its link to cancer. Both corporations stated separately that the findings from scientific studies were untrue; essentially ignoring the fault and responsibility of their company to offer a product that did not endanger the health of the public.
Ben Shiedler, spokesman for Coca-Cola explained: “The caramel color in all of our products has been, is and always will be safe, and The Coca-Cola Company is not changing the world-famous formula for our Coca-Cola beverages. Over the years, we have updated our manufacturing processes from time to time, but never altered our Secret Formula.”
California requires cancer warnings on labels of products containing a certain level of carcinogens. This would conflict with Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, so these two corporations decided to drop the additive rather than alter their labels.
A report from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy stated that processed foods and beverages may contain mercury that was part of the process of deriving high fructose corn syrup. The FDA failed to make this independent study effective by acknowledging its findings.
Mercury impairs neurological development, as well as has a dramatic effect on the human nervous system. In children, mercury exposure manifests as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Shockingly, PepsiCo have never denied their use of the deadly additive aspartame, nor its link to cancer. They stated publicly that the findings from scientific studies were untrue; essentially ignoring the fault and responsibility of their company to offer a product that endangered the health of the general public. By denying the facts, their validity does not diminish.Add This to Technorati Faves