Well Being

Gatorade Removes Controversial Ingredient Amid 15-Year-Old’s Petition (Also: How Did Nobody Else Notice This?)

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Remember that petition about Gatorade ingredients being dangerous and made of stuff belonging in flame retardant? Well, lo and behold, Gatorade — actually, PepsiCo, its makers — has paid attention (finally).

As a result of the petition online, PepsiCo has agreed to the very rational demands of a 15-year-old girl (who clearly has a lot more interesting things to do than when I was 15, wow). The chemical in question, brominated vegetable oil (or “BVO” for short), apparently keeps the flavors in certain Gatorades mixed; otherwise, the orange flavor would float to the surface. Sarah Kavanaugh recognized that this was not something that should be put into sports drinks and began a petition on Change.org. PepsiCo listened and now is replacing the ingredient with something else.

As happy as I am for the victory, two things stun me about this: obviously, the first is that the ingredient was in Gatorade in the first place and the company could not decide on anything else a little less petrifying to ingest that might perform the same function. Second, how is it that a 15-year-old is the first person who noticed this? She found out about the ingredient's nature via a Google search; she is not a scientist nor nutritionist nor doctor. How is it that nobody else, myself included as a Gatorade drinker, noticed? It just goes to show that we all need to be a little more active in our ingredient intake, apparently.

That said, I admit that I'm incredibly please that PepsiCo listened to an online petition. Sometimes, I think petitions don't actually do that much because they're so easy to sign and forget about for many people, but then times like this remind me that the motivation of thousands can move even the most firmly placed of corporations (or at least their flame retardant ingredients).

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