Coke Copies Pepsi, Removes Potentially Harmful Ingredient from Sports Drink

Powerade - BVO or not?

The Coca Cola company is quietly removing brominated vegetable oil (BVO) from its Powerade line of sports drinks. The move comes only months after PepsiCo subsidiary Gatorade announced it will be removing BVO from its sport drink by the end of the year.

You won’t see news of the removal in Coca Cola’s Press Releases, and understandably so. Publicizing the removal of BVO is an open admission that the company has for years used a potentially harmful ingredient in its products.

Brominated vegetable oil, is a mix of vegetable oil and bromine that keeps flavor suspended in liquids. This is especially useful in citrus flavored drinks.

Bromine is corrosive and extremely hazardous to human skin and lungs. That’s why the FDA has limited the use of BVO to 15 parts per million. In the European Union, a better approach was adopted – BVO is banned!

The damage from BVO likely occurs in the long term, as bromine can accumulate over time in the human body. In rat studies, consumptions of BVOs led to  a variety of ailments, ranging from decreased levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol to myocardial degeneration.

In 1970, the FDA removed BVO from its list of safe ingredients (GRAS – Generally Recognized as Safe),  “pending the outcome of additional toxicological studies on which periodic reports at 6-month intervals are to be furnished and final results submitted to the Food and Drug Administration promptly after completion of the studies.” Unfortunately no such studies were ever furnished.

What made Pepsi & Coke remove BVO after all these years? Consumer pressure. Keep pushing folks!


  • Cactus_Wren

    That leaves pretty much only Mountain Dew as a significant BVO source, right?

  • H2O

    Shame on them for the poison they put in our soft drinks and market it to our children .. At least the very least they removed one poison from the drinks they sell.

  • Michael Hennessey

    I disagree with shame on them. It is shame on us! We the people for convienince buy the products we should make and hook our children.

    When we were kids every two week we gathered around the kitchen table as a assembly line to make RootBeer. Any neighbor kids were welcome to help and at the end of the day we were tired but had so much fun.

    Homemade bread is so easy especially with a bread machine and school lunch made with mom tasted better than any fast food I have ever had .

  • Csillag

    My kids drink water and water kefir drink.No soft drink,sodas in my household.