Teen's Petition Convinces Coke to Remove Flame Retardant From Products

2 min read

Powerade lovers decided they were tired of sipping on flame retardant. Now, Coca-Cola is taking note.

Coca-Cola announced this week that it is working to remove brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, from all of its beverages. While Coke has stood by the safety of the ingredient, which distributes flavors more evenly in fruit-flavored drinks such as Powerade, the ingredient has been patented as a flame retardant and is not approved for use in the EU or Japan.

The ban comes on the heels of an online Change.org petitions started by Mississippian teenager Sarah Kavanagh. The petition, which focused on the removal of BVO from Powerade, garnered over 50,000 signatures.  

Related: 'Gluten-Free' and 'Sustainable' Take Over Menus as New Healthy Buzzwords

"If they sell [Powerade] overseas without BVO, why risk my health and my friends’ health?" asked Kavanagh in the petition

Kavanagh's campaign to force Coke to cut BVO from Powerade followed her successful effort to convince PepsiCo to cut the chemical from Gatorade. While Pepsi complied last year, BVO continues to be used as an ingredient in PepsiCo's Mountain Dew and Amp.

Stripping BVO from Coca-Cola and PepsiCo products is just the most recent in a line of petition-induced industry changes. Earlier this year, health blogger Vani Hari's popular petitions helped convince Chick-fil-A to switch to antibiotics free chicken and Subway remove chemicals from its bread. As "sustainable" and "organic" become go-to buzzwords across the food industry, chains have to pay more attention to customers' growing appetite for food minus the chemicals. 

Related: How This Food Blogger Convinced Chick-fil-A to Go Antibiotics Free

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Starting, buying, or growing your small business shouldn’t be hard. Guidant Financial works to make financing easy for current and aspiring small business owners by providing custom funding solutions, financing education, and more.

Latest on Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. values your privacy. In order to understand how people use our site generally, and to create more valuable experiences for you, we may collect data about your use of this site (both directly and through our partners). By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the use of that data. For more information on our data policies, please visit our Privacy Policy.