Coca Cola has announced plans to remove a controversial chemical ingredient from its drinks portfolio following sustained public pressure.
Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) has been linked by researchers to health issues including memory loss and skin and nerve problems. The ingredient, which is banned in the EU and Japan but permitted in the US at a maximum concentration of 15 parts per million, is used as a stabilizer in some soft drinks, including Coca Cola’s Mountain Dew and Amp Energy products. Coca Cola said it would now remove the ingredient and replace it with alternatives such as sucrose acetate isobutyrate or glycerol ester of rosin.
The move comes after an online petition, which received thousands of signatures, called for the removal of the ingredient, citing health concerns. However, in a statement, Coca Cola denied that the issue was one of safety. Spokesman Josh Gold commented: “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 reformulation will take place by the end of the year.