Controversial Ingredient To Be Removed From Coca Cola

The controversial ingredient Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is found in Coca-Cola fruit and sports drinks such as Fanta and Powerade.

The campaign against the use of BVO was begun by Sarah Kavanagh, a teenager from Mississippi, who questioned why the ingredient was being used in drinks targeted at health-conscious athletes.

Thousands of people have since signed her online petition on to have BVO removed from drinks.

The BVO agent will be replaced by Coca-Cola after concerns that an element of the additive is also found in flame retardants.

Rival Pepsi removed the chemical from its Gatorade sports drink last year.

Coca-Cola spokesman Josh Gold stressed the move to remove BVO was not an issue of safety.

"All of our beverages, including those with BVO, are safe and always have been, they also comply with all regulations in the countries where they are sold," he said in a statement.

Coca-Cola said it would switch to using sucrose acetate isobutyrate or glycerol ester of rosin, which is commonly found in chewing gum.

Coca-Cola's decision to remove BVO from its drink reflects a growing move among companies to reconsider certain practices due to public pressure.

BVO has been used as a stabiliser in fruit-flavoured drinks as it helps to prevent ingredients from separating.

The health concerns stem from the fact that BVO contains bromide, which is found in brominated flame retardants.

According to medical researchers at the Mayo Clinic, excessive consumption of soft drinks containing BVO has been linked to negative health effects, including reports of memory loss and skin and nerve problems.

By Beth Nyaga        

Source: BBC News

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