Hattiesburg teen helps shakes up sports drink industry - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hattiesburg teen helps shakes up sports drink industry

Posted: Updated:
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

A major beverage company is removing an ingredient from its product after petitions and complaints from consumers, the largest of which started by a Pine Belt teenager.

PepsiCo Inc. announced Friday plans to remove brominated vegetable oil or BVO from its Gatorade sports drinks. The ingredient is an emulsifier, a chemical that keeps the beverage of uniform consistency. Gatorade has long-asserted the ingredient is safe, and the ingredient is not prohibited by the FDA.

Gatorade said in a public statement that although they still believe the ingredient is safe, they will give in to the demands of consumers and remove it.

Hattiesburg High School sophomore Sarah Kavanagh, 15, started an online petition after learning about the chemical and its effects on humans from an online article, and more than 200,000 people joined the petition. 

Molly Carter, a spokeswoman for the company, said Friday that the removal of brominated vegetable oil was in the works over the past year after the company began "hearing rumblings" from consumers about the ingredient. She said it wasn't a direct reaction to the petition started on Change.org by Kavanagh.

Kavanagh will appear on The Doctor Oz Show on January 30 to talk about her campaign.

BVO is also used in other drinks, including some flavors of Powerade made by rival Coca-Cola Co. The Atlanta-based company did not say whether it would remove the ingredient from Powerade as well but noted that it takes customer concerns into account when looking for ways to improve its drinks.

Copyright 2013 WDAM. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Coroner: Girl's body was found in abandoned trailer's bathroom

    Coroner: Girl's body was found in abandoned trailer's bathroom

    Friday, July 18 2014 3:26 PM EDT2014-07-18 19:26:33 GMT
    It's been an extremely difficult day for family and friends as well as officers. So many people were crying, upset as the body of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson was removed from an abandoned trailer.More >>
    It's been an extremely difficult day for family and friends as well as officers. So many people were crying, upset as the body of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson was removed from an abandoned trailer. Coroner Gary Hargrove said Janaya's body was found in a bathroom.More >>
  • Parents on high alert after attempted kidnapping in Bayou View

    Parents on high alert after attempted kidnapping in Bayou View

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:29 PM EDT2014-07-22 03:29:59 GMT
    Parents in the Bayou View Community of Gulfport are on high alert, after a reported attempted kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl from her home.More >>
    Parents in the Bayou View Community of Gulfport are on high alert, after a reported attempted kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl from her home.More >>
  • No hotel deal means Margaritaville Biloxi will close

    No hotel deal means Margaritaville Biloxi will close

    Monday, July 21 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-07-22 02:00:03 GMT
    The Board of Directors of Margaritaville Casino said they have been unable to put together a deal to build a hotel, and that means Margaritaville can't compete in the Biloxi market.
    More >>
    The Board of Directors of Margaritaville Casino said they have been unable to put together a deal to build a hotel, and that means Margaritaville can't compete in the Biloxi market. As of today, the casino is planning to close its doors by September 19.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.