Just weeks after PepsiCo Inc. announced it would remove a controversial ingredient from its Gatorade sports drinks, an online petition is urging Coca-Cola Co. to remove brominated vegetable oil from its Powerade sports drinks.
The petition, started by a Norcross, Ga. woman, has so far garnered more than 49,000 signatures urging Coca-Cola to nix the ingredient from its sports drinks.
"BVO is very controversial due to the health effects it can have on people and animals," the Norcross woman, Aveyca Price, wrote. "It's scary to know that something like this is being used in the US without fully knowing both positive and negative effects."
The ingredient, a synthetic chemical patented in Europe as a flame retardant, is used as a flavor emulsifier, which helps distribute the sports drinks' coloring evenly. The ingredient is banned in Europe and Japan.
The U.S. Food and Drug Admistration has said the ingredient is safe to use in limited quantities.
A similar petition circulated by Sarah Kavanagh of Hattiesburg, Miss., regarding the same substance in Gatorade garnered more than 200,000 signatures before PepsiCo announced it would remove the ingredient.
A PepsiCo spokeswoman has said the action was the result of consumer feedback, not safety concerns.
A Coca-Cola representative did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on the petition.