Sunday, December 16, 2012

Why One 15-Year-Old Girl Wants The FDA To Crack Down On Her Gatorade

Dec 13, 2012
Greg Noth

A petition calling for beverage producers to stop using a little-known chemical additive in their products has gained more than 150,000 signatures on, sparking a debate about the U.S.’s current regulation of the food and beverage industry.

15-year-old Sarah Kavanagh started the petition after checking the label on her Gatorade and discovering that “brominated vegetable oil” (BVO) — an additive used to keep flavor from separating — was listed on the bottle. When she researched the substance further, she found out that it can be associated with serious neurological and fertility issues, and wondered why it was still allowed to be used in the United States:

Use of the substance in the United States has been debated for more than three decades, so Ms. Kavanagh’s campaign most likely is quixotic. But the European Union has long banned the substance from foods, requiring use of other ingredients. Japan recently moved to do the same.

“B.V.O. is banned other places in the world, so these companies already have a replacement for it,” Ms. Kavanagh said. “I don’t see why they don’t just make the switch.” To that, companies say the switch would be too costly.


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