My seven year old son, Jake, had his first and only anaphylaxis reaction after taking a few sips of Fruit Punch Powerade. He had an epi-pen at the ER and took the strongest dose of Prednisone based on his weight. He was also taking an adult dose of Benadryl around the clock every six hours for days. He does not drink soft drinks, but the Powerade was offered to his baseball team after his game. He thought they were safe because no soy ingredients were listed and he is allergic to soy.
Thank God he only had a few sips. He was still reacting five days later with welts all over his body and a cough that sounds like whooping cough!
Over the passed few days, I have learned that BVO, an ingredient in Fruit Punch Powerade, was BANNED in countries all over the world. It is said to be linked to flame retardants and cancer among many other things. Last year, an online petition on Change.org asked that Gatorade (Pepsico) remove BVO from it's Gatorade drinks. It looks like they listened and will be reformulating it thanks to consumer pressure. But what about Powerade?
I called Powerade specifically about this Fruit Punch flavored product. I asked what the vegetable is in their Brominated Vegetable Oil. Their quote was "Brominated Vegetable Oil is derived from the soybean within all cases of this product."
If all manufacturers in the US must list any of the top eight allergens in their products on their labels and consumers are now expecting them to do so, why aren't there allergen labels on Coke or Powerade products with BVO? Turns out there seems to be a loophole for "highly refined" oils. From what I was told, our current laws do not require them to list their Brominated "Vegetable" Oil as soy if it is refined soybean oil. Does that make sense to you? Turns out, manufacturers do not have to list ANY of the top eight allergens (peanut, treenut, soy etc) on their labels if the oil they use is highly refined.
Hmmm. How come that part wasn't mentioned to all of the Americans out there now reading food allergen labels?
Our son went into anaphylaxis after drinking this drink. He has never had welts on his body in his life or taken Prednisone or missed school because of an unsafe food or drink. We are so thankful that we had time to get him to a hospital. Don't let this or worse happen to another child. One child rushed to the ER because of a life threatening allergic reaction is one too many!
Do the right thing, Powerade. Make consumers aware of all of the risks of this ingredient or take it off of the market now! Americans are not your guinea pigs.
Remove BVO from Powerade (just like Gatorade agreed to do) and list any and all of the top eight allergens when they are used anywhere in your products.
Please sign my petition.