The 'Disgusting' Ingredient in Gatorade Found in Flame Retardant

There is a growing controversy after a "disgusting" ingredient was found in Gatorade. A petition was created asking the makers of the popular sports drink to remove the ingredient that is also used in flame retardant.

"Disgusting" brominated vegetable oil was reported on by after the intial petition was started by 15-year-old Sarah Kavanagh from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She was on the internet searching ingredients in Gatorade when she found an ingredient in her drink also listed as an ingredient in flame retardant.

"The other day, I googled 'brominated vegetable oil.' It was the last time I drank Orange Gatorade. I found out that this 'BVO' is a controversial flame retardant chemical that is in some Gatorade drinks!" Kavanagh wrote in her petition.

The surprise ingredient in Gatorade is scientifically referred to as "brominated vegetable oil," and is used to keep certain flavoring in citrus drinks combined. Otherwise the drink would have various flavoring elements floating in the drink.

The oil is named after the principal ingredient known as bromine. Bromine is the active ingredient that is found in flame retardant and it is also used on upholstery and clothing such as pajamas.

Researchers explained that bromine found in BVO poses its own share of health risks. Research has found that it can build up in both the body and breast milk. Studies link that buildup to neurological disorders, reduced fertility, hormonal changes and advanced puberty.

Brominated vegetable oil has also been linked to short term issues such as blurred vision, teariness and vomiting.

"I'm not a scientist, but if there are lots of suspicious things about putting a flame retardant chemical in Gatorade (most flavors don't even use it!) then why would Gatorade want to put it in a product designed for people like me who are into sports and health?" Sarah wrote in the petition.

Kavanagh's petition has close to 200,000 signatures and hopes that PepsiCo, which owns Gatorade, will remove the ingredient from their product.

"You put slick ads on TV encouraging people like me to buy your products, but it's shocking that you have a flame retardant chemical called 'brominated vegetable oil' in some flavors. Please stop deceiving consumers and remove this chemical from your products," the petition reads.