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 Change.org petition asking Gatorade to stop using it. More than 200,000 people signed my petition on Change.org and we won! But I learned that BVO is also in other drinks, like Powerade’s red fruit punch that is actually sold in my school!
It’s weird because Gatorade’s fruit punch doesn’t have BVO! But Powerade’s fruit punch does, and it is probably one of the most popular flavors for my friends. It is so wrong to be selling something like that to a bunch of kids anywhere! What are these companies thinking? I don’t want anyone in my family touching that stuff. Why do these companies put all this weird, crazy stuff in our food and drinks?
After Gatorade agreed to remove BVO from their drinks, a lot of people have been encouraging me to keep going, so now we’re back to officially ask Powerade to do the same thing! It’s common sense that sports drinks here shouldn’t contain crazy ingredients that are banned in entire countries because of health concerns.
I’ve read some crazy information about how BVO and the ingredient bromine can build up in people’s bodies over time and how the chemical is linked to problems with hormones and fertility and stuff like that. I also saw that Powerade may be the official drink of the NCAA for college athletes! Athletes shouldn’t be drinking that! NASCAR also has a deal with Powerade, but I don’t know why unless it’s to put out those engine fires!
Gatorade did an amazing thing and agreed to stop using BVO, and I hope the entire beverage industry is paying attention. Consumers don’t want BVO and every day that they keep it in there makes us trust them less.
For now though, Powerade pretends to be a healthy sports drink and it has to decide if it wants to be the only one (there will be no BVO in Gatorade or Vitamin Water) that still uses a chemical banned in Europe and Japan and that its main competitor, Gatorade, agreed to remove.
I know Powerade will listen. If they sell those things overseas without BVO, why risk my health and my friends’ health?
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Sarah Kavanagh started this petition with a single signature, and won with 59,374 supporters. Start a petition to change something you care about.