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Coca-Cola Removes Flame Retardant Chemical From Drinks

The ingredient is found in drinks such as Powerade and Fanta.

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Coca-Cola has announced it is removing a controversial flavouring stabiliser from some of its drinks following concerns that an element of the ingredient is also found in flame retardants.

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is found in drinks such as Powerade and Fanta.

It is used in fruit-flavoured drinks to help prevent ingredients from separating.

There has been some concern over the fact BVO contains bromide, which is also found in brominated flame retardants.

AP/Jacquelyn Martin

Coca-Cola said the ingredient had already been dropped from two Powerade flavours – strawberry lemonade and fruit punch.

In the US, it is also aiming to remove the ingredient from Fanta and Fresca drinks.

The announcement came after rival Pepsi removed the chemical from Gatorade last year.

All of our beverages, including those with BVO, are safe and always have been - and comply with all regulations in the countries where they are sold.The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority.

The use of BVO as a food additive is currently not allowed in the European Union or Japan.

In the US, drinks companies can use it at up to 15 parts per million.

Research by the Mayo Clinic claims excessive consumption of drinks containing BVO can lead to negative health effects, such as memory loss and skin problems.

The campaign against the use of BVO was started by a teenager from Mississippi.

Sarah Kavanagh circulated a series of petitions calling on Coca-Cola and Pepsi to remove the ingredient.

"I knew that if Gatorade could do the right thing, so could Powerade," she said.

"I'm glad to know the Powerade sold at my school and consumed by people around the world will be a little bit healthier without BVO in it."