• Woman starts online push to force Coke to remove chemical from drinks

    By: Jim Strickland


    NORCROSS, Ga. - Consumers around the globe are joining a Norcross woman's campaign for Coca-Cola to take a controversial chemical out of its Powerade sports drink.

    The chemical is called brominated vegetable oil and it has been banned in 100 countries.

    "It's pretty shocking that something controversial like this was in something I was drinking for years that can potentially cause a health issue," said Aveyca Price to Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland.

    The former high-school athlete drinks Gatorade.

    Its maker, Pepsico, recently announced that it's dropping BVO from its formula. An online petition about BVO in Gatorade garnered 200,000 signatures.

    Price said she was about to drop Gatorade after hearing it contained the substance.

    "And when I picked up the Powerade as an alternative, as you can see they still have the BVO in it," she said while pointing to the label.

    Price started her own petition on Change.org to urge Coke to make the same move with Powerade. The campaign is taking off.

    "Fifty thousand people (signing) within a month is amazing. I'm surprised and I'm glad I have that many people backing me up," Price said.

    Strickland confirmed Coke's explanation that the chemical is only in two flavors, red fruit punch and strawberry lemonade. BVO helps keep other ingredients in the bottle well-mixed.

    Coca-Cola offered a statement saying, "We respect Aveyca's efforts to bring people together and we admire her personal story. Powerade has an uncompromising commitment to product safety and quality.

    "All of its ingredients, including brominated vegetable oil, comply with all regulations.

    Per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration , BVO can be safely used in fruit-flavored beverages at permitted levels.

    "Two of the fourteen Powerade trademark ready-to-drink flavors contain BVO - Powerade Fruit Punch and Powerade Strawberry Lemonade.

    We use BVO in these two flavors to improve stability and prevent certain ingredients from separating. POWERADE is always looking for ways to evolve its formulas. Powerade Zero does not contain BVO," the statement said.

    Pepsico, while phasing BVO out of Gatorade, continues to use it in its popular soft drink Mountain Dew.

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