Force Coca-Cola to Remove Toxic Chemical From Powerade

Target: Scott Williamson, Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications of Coca-Cola

Goal: Remove chemical that has been linked to developmental problems and reduced fertility from Powerade

Brominated vegetable oil, otherwise known as BVO, is used in the process of making Powerade. BVO is the same element found in flame retardants. Additionally, it has been linked to many health and developmental problems.

Bromine is not only used in flame retardants but also upholstered funiture and children’s products. Although there has been limited research of the effects of brominated vegetable oil in animals and humans, the buildup of bromine has been discovered in the fatty tissues of the subjects. In rats that have ingested the chemical, heart lesions developed eventually. Breast milk of humans have also been sources of large amounts of the chemical. In other studies, the chemical has been linked to neurological impairment, reduced fertility, as well as developmental issues in the thyroid during puberty.

BVO has been used in foods since the 1930s well before amendments were added to the Food and Drug Administration regarding food additives. In Powerade the chemical is used to keep ingredients from separating. Since the approval of the use of bromine in 1930, no further extensive research has been conducted. The longest trial of research that was conducted was for a period of four months. Scientists and researchers say that at least two years of research should be done to truly determine the level of safety when it comes to consumption. Despite the alarming evidence that has been conducted in only four month periods, no efforts have been made to stop using this product in food items meant for consumption.

 When it comes to the health and safety of consumers, companies such as Coca-Cola need to have more accountability for what they are providing to the masses. Continuous research needs to be conduced in order to stay up-to-date on the advances of technology regarding the research and study of chemical products such as BVO. With the recent research that has been conducted on BVO, Coca-Cola should halt the use of the chemical until further scientific research can be conducted.


Dear Scott Williamson,

Recent studies have shown the consumption of bromine vegetable oil may be linked to serious health problems. Further research needs to be conducted on the effects of this chemical before it continues to be used in Powerade.

Since the chemical was previously approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the 1930s, continued research has shown the chemical in linked to a series of neurological impairments as well as fertility and thyroid issues. The chemical is easily stored and found in the tissues of both animals and humans. Further research needs to be conducted in order to determine the extent of effects that these chemicals have on humans after the chemical is stored in the body.

Scientists and researchers agree that at least two years of research needs to be conducted in order for the effects of a study to be considered conclusive. The longest study to have been conducted regarding BVO has been four months.  Since the 1930s, huge advancements in science have been made. Not only that but the standards for what is considered safe to consume have become increasingly stringent. Chemicals that have not been evaluated in the last decade need to be re-examined in order to determine if they are safe or not to consume.

Although bromine vegetable oils were previously approved by the FDA, more extensive research needs to be conducted before allowing consumers to continue consuming this chemical. It is for this reason that further research needs to be conducted before this chemical is added to Powerade.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Leif Schöneberg via Flickr

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