Don’t put flame retardant chemicals in sports drinks!
  • Petitioned Gatorade

This petition was delivered to:

President, PepsiCo Americas Beverages
Debra Crew
Executive Vice President, PepsiCo Chief Scientific Officer, Global Research and Development
Mehmood Khan
General Manager, Gatorade
Brett O'Brien
Public Relations
Pete Brace
Gatorade Canada
Vice President
Kathy Okrzesik

Don’t put flame retardant chemicals in sports drinks!

    1. Sarah Kavanagh
    2. Petition by

      Sarah Kavanagh

      Hattiesburg, MS

January 2013


Thank you all for your support. When I went to to start my petition, I thought it might get a lot of support because no one wants to gulp down flame retardant, especially from a drink they associate with being healthy. But with Gatorade being as big as they are, sometimes it was hard to know if we'd ever win. This is so, so awesome. Companies like Gatorade put so much thought into marketing. As someone who loves to drink their products, I'm so glad they're making strides to put as much consideration into their customers' health.

The other day, I Googled "brominated vegetable oil." It was the last time I drank Orange Gatorade. I found out that this "BVO" is a controversial flame retardant chemical that is in some Gatorade drinks! Who wants to drink that? Not me!

I’m naturally a curious and argumentative person doing things like debate team in school. I also love sports like volleyball, and I always believed Gatorade when they said stuff in their ads about how it's good to drink when exercising. And, just like most people, I care about my health. So, as I was sitting at home the other day drinking an Orange Gatorade, I decided to look up some of the ingredients.

The last ingredient is "brominated vegetable oil," which has been banned in Japan and the European Union. That means, #1 it’s not necessary to make Gatorade, and #2 there is enough information out there that entire countries have banned this chemical product.

According to Scientific American, BVO has been patented as a flame retardant and is found in some beverages including some flavors of Gatorade. It is “under intense scrutiny because research has shown that they are building up in people's bodies, including breast milk, around the world.” The same article also mentions that there are “links to impaired neurological development, reduced fertility, early onset of puberty and altered thyroid hormones.”

I’m not a scientist, but if there are lots of suspicious things about putting a flame retardant chemical in Gatorade (most flavors don’t even use it!) then why would Gatorade want to put it in a product designed for people like me who are into sports and health?

It doesn’t make sense. Please sign my petition asking Gatorade to stop putting flame retardant chemicals in sports drinks.

Photo by marcgelinas on Flickr

Debra Crew, President, PepsiCo Americas Beverages
Mehmood Khan, Executive Vice President, PepsiCo Chief Scientific Officer, Global Research and Development
Brett O'Brien, General Manager, Gatorade
Pete Brace, Public Relations
Gatorade Canada
Kathy Okrzesik, Vice President
Dear Gatorade,

You put slick ads on TV encouraging people like me to buy your products, but it’s shocking that you have a flame retardant chemical called ‘brominated vegetable oil’ in some flavors. Please stop deceiving consumers and remove this chemical from your products.

We know you can do better than this! We look forward to hearing an update.

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. New petition against Powerade

      Sarah Kavanagh
      Petition Organizer

      Please sign this new petition

      I was excited to hear that Gatorade removed BVO after my petition, and I think its main competitor Powerade should do the same thing.

      Why would anyone concerned about sports and health want to drink a controversial chemical that’s not safe enough to use in Europe or Japan?

      Powerade: If Gatorade can take crazy chemical BVO out of sports drinks, so can you

      A couple months ago, I found out that one of my favorite drinks, Gatorade's Orange, contained brominated vegetable oil (BVO). According to Scientific American and other news reports, BVO is patented as a flame retardant and has been banned in Europe and Japan. So I started a petition asking Gatorade to stop using it.

    2. Gatorade is still ignoring me

      Sarah Kavanagh
      Petition Organizer

      "U.S. allows chemicals in food that are illegal elsewhere." -The Chicago Tribune,0,5307425,full.story

    3. Reached 200,000 signatures
    4. BVO update from the Center for Science in the Public Interest

      Pulin Modi
      Senior Campaigner

      Due to health concerns, CSPI has given #BVO the 'Avoid' rating on food additive database #ChemicalCuisine
      Dec 18 via HootSuite Favorite Retweet Reply

      CSPI's Twitter

      Due to health concerns, CSPI has given #BVO the 'Avoid' rating on food additive database #ChemicalCuisine

    5. HHS student takes on Gatorade (Hattiesburg American)

      Sarah Kavanagh
      Petition Organizer
      HHS student takes on Gatorade

      A Hattiesburg High School sophomore now understands the influence one person can have, after she launched a petition against Gatorade on the website Sarah Kavanagh's petitition, asking the sports beverage maker to remove brominated vegetable oil from Gatorade, has collected more than 182,000 signatures.

    6. Reached 150,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Joan Bunney AUSTIN, TX
      • 5 months ago

      I've don't drink this toxic soda but millions of people do, worldwide .It's not only toxic it's addictive, causes disease-related acidity in the body. Buyer/consumer beware.

    • Dennis Wolff CAVE SPRINGS, AR
      • over 1 year ago

      Bromide gives me massive headaches!

    • Maxwell Dorer EUCLID, OH
      • over 1 year ago

      It's disgusting what the food industry gets away with in this country. Don't stop with Gatorade, get this garbage out of ALL drinks!

    • Debra magoonDebraMagoon WEST CHICAGO, IL
      • over 1 year ago

      Who wants to drink flame retardant? Not me, that's why I'm signing it.

    • Henry Harvey UPPER MARLBORO, MD
      • over 1 year ago

      I have also found that yellow 5 ,6 & 1 plus red 40 is cancerous and now bvo. I am now 59 and i am more concern about my health and my family.


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.