Brominated vegetable oil, a synthetic chemical that has been patented in Europe as a flame retardant, will no longer double as an ingredient in Gatorade sports drinks.
Molly Carter, a spokeswoman for Gatorade owner PepsiCo Inc., said the company has been considering the move for more than a year, working on a way to take out the ingredient without affecting the flavor of the drink.
A recent petition on Change.org to drop the chemical – which has more than 200,000 supporters – did not inspire the decision, Carter said, though she acknowledged that consumer feedback was the main impetus.
In the petition, posted by Sarah Kavanagh of Hattiesburg, Miss., “BVO” is described as banned in Japan and the European Union.
The effort quotes a Scientific American article suggesting that “BVO could be building up in human tissues” and that studies on mice have shown “reproductive and behavioral problems” linked to large doses of the chemical.
The reformulated Gatorade flavors “will start rolling out in the next few months,” Carter said.
There’s no hard date for the launch because “we’re not recalling Gatorade,” she said. “We don’t think our products are unsafe. We don’t think there are health or safety risks.”
Soft-drink makers, restaurateurs and other businesses are suing to block the city’s move to end the sale of super-sized, sugary drinks in many eateries.
The American Beverage Association and others sued the city Friday. City officials had no immediate response.
The city Board of Health approved the unprecedented regulation last month. It would stop restaurants, cafeterias and concession stands from selling soda and other high-calorie drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces.
The rule is set to take effect in March.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg calls it a reasonable, promising way to curb obesity.
NEW YORK – New York City passed the first U.S. ban of oversized sugary drinks on Thursday in its latest controversial step to reduce obesity and its deadly complications in a nation that is fatter than ever.
By a vote of eight members in favor, with one abstaining, the mayoral-appointed city health board outlawed sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces nearly everywhere they are sold, except groceries and convenience stores. Violators of the ban, which does not include diet sodas, face a $200 fine.
Opponents, who cast the issue as an infringement on personal freedom and called Mayor Michael Bloomberg an overbearing nanny, vowed to continue their fight, possibly by going to court in the hopes of blocking or overturning the measure before it takes effect in March.
“It’s sad that the board wants to limit our choices. We are smart enough to make our own decisions about what to eat and drink,” Liz Berman, a business owner and chairwoman of New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, said in a statement.
WASHINGTON — The Department of Agriculture is finalizing new nutrition standards for what can be sold in school vending machines, stores and a la carte cafeteria lines that the cranberry industry fears could eliminate some cranberry drinks.
The guidelines, inspired by first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative to combat childhood obesity, will likely target sweetened beverages, including cranberry juice cocktail. The USDA already has established new standards establishing what can be sold in school cafeterias as part of the federal school lunch program. If the agency follows its earlier guidelines, only 100% juice beverages would be allowed in vending machines and school stores.
The cranberry industry is hoping to convince the USDA that lumping cranberry drinks in the same category with soda and other sugary drinks is unfair, since the tart red fruit contains many nutrients and health benefits, but must be sweetened in order to be palatable. The proposed rule could exclude cranberry products from school vending machines and curtail marketing, said industry officials; they estimate the size of the school vending market to be $2.3 billion a year.
Representatives from the United Cranberry Growers Cooperative — a collective of 85 growers — voiced their message at the recent inaugural meeting of the Congressional Cranberry Caucus on Capitol Hill. Their goal was to help persuade agriculture officials to make an exception for cranberry products in its nutrition standards for added-sugar products.
Coca Cola and Pepsi will make a manufacturing process modification for the soft drinks caramel colouring to avoid a California law that would have forced them to label the drinks carcinogenic.
Coke, for one, insists it is not “changing our recipe or formula in any way.”
“The Coca-Cola Company asked its caramel suppliers to make the necessary manufacturing process modification to meet the requirement of the State of California’s Prop 65,” company spokesman Ben Sheidler said in a release. “As a result, no warning is required.
“While we believe that there is no public health risk that justifies any such change, we did ask our caramel suppliers to take this step so that our products would not be subject to the requirement of a scientifically unfounded warning.”
And those changes “do change our product. The caramel color in all of our products has been, is and always will be safe.”
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Diet soda may benefit the waistline, but a new study suggests that people who drink it every day have a heightened risk of heart attack and stroke.
The study, which followed almost 2,600 older adults for a decade, found that those who drank diet soda every day were 44 percent more likely than non-drinkers to suffer a heart attack or stroke.
The findings, reported in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, don’t prove that the sugar-free drinks are actually to blame.