Gatorade is removing a controversial ingredient from its sports drink that is also patented as a flame retardant and is banned in the European Union and Japan. According to USA Today on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, the company that makes Gatorade reports that it is not removing the ingredient because of the Change.org petition that was recently created and signed by over 200,000 people. The petition is asking the company to remove the ingredient, but the company maintains that this is not what prompted their decision.
PepsiCo, the company that manufactures Gatorade claims that they decided to remove the brominated vegetable oil after “hearing rumblings” from consumers about the ingredient that their Gatorade drinks contain. The brominated vegetable oil is used as a “emulsifier” which distributes the flavoring put into the Gatorade evenly so it doesn’t collect at the surface. This was reported by Molly Carter, a spokesperson for the company that makes the sports drink.
The Coca-Cola Company uses brominated vegetable oil in their Powerade drink, which is the same type of sports drink as Gatorade. The Coca-Cola Company has not said if they will take the ingredient out of their drink or not. Carter noted that the ingredient is not banned in this country by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
She also conveyed that the decision to remove the ingredient in question was not due to any health or safety concerns, but because the company is listening to consumer feedback. The brominated vegetable oil will be replaced by another ingredient called sucrose acetate isobutyrate, which will work to maintain the flavor of the drinks.