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Coke and Pepsi removing flame retardant chemical from drinks

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coke and pepsi cans   One person can make a difference. Coke and Pepsi are removing a flame retardant ingredient from their drinks in response to online petitions initiated by a Mississippi teenager.

First, Sarah Kavanagh went after Pepsi for using BVO, brominated vegetable oil, in its Gatorade sports drink. BVO contains bromine, which is used in brominated flame retardant.

Kavanagh’s petition got 200,000 signatures on Change.org  In January 2013, Pepsi announced it would remove the controversial BVO from Gatorade. The company is still using it in Mountain Dew and some other drinks, but says it’s “…  working to remove it from the rest of its products.”

The teen launched a second petition campaign against Coke for using BVO in Powerade. Now, Coke has relented and removed the chemical from Powerade.  The beverage maker says it plans to remove BVO from all of its products, which include Fanta and Fresca, by “the end of the year.”

BVO is used to stabilize ingredients and keep them from spreading in fruit-flavored drinks. However,there are reports of memory loss and skin and nerve problems in people who drink large quantities of soda containing BVO. In Europe and Japan, BVO is banned as a food additive. That is not the case here in the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration still considers BVO safe.

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