Coca-Cola said on Monday that it will stop using brominated vegetable oil (BVO) in all of its drinks, giving in to the request of a Change.org petition started by a teenager.
The company currently uses BVO in some flavors of Fanta and Fresca, in addition to all flavors of Powerade, as a way to "improve the stability of its drinks and prevent certain ingredients from separating," per the Associated Press. Both Europe and Japan have banned the ingredient because bromine is also found in flame retardants, which are obviously not great for human consumption. Plus, according to the Mayo Clinic, BVO has been linked with some unsavory side effects:
There also have been a few reports of people experiencing memory loss and skin and nerve problems after drinking excessive amounts (more than 2 liters a day) of soda containing BVO. Some beverage manufacturers are even considering taking BVO out of their products.
To be fair, drinking more than two liters of BVO-free soda is probably not great for you, either.
Coca-Cola did not say it was pulling the ingredient for safety reasons, however, maintaining on Monday that "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 decision follows a similar one by PepsiCo, which decided to stop using BVO in Gatorade last year.