Bottles of Powerade and other Coca-Cola products in Orlando on Aug. 5, 2010.
Jon Elswick—AP
May 4, 2014 5:04 PM EDT

Coca-Cola will no longer use a controversial ingredient in its Powerade sports drink, the company confirmed Sunday.

A spokesperson for the company said its Powerade drinks were now free of brominated vegetable oil, an ingredient that has been linked to a flame retardant, reports the Associated Press. Coca-Cola has said before that the ingredient helps “improve stability and prevent certain ingredients from separating.”

Brominated vegetable oil has been the target of a petition from Mississippi teenager Sarah Kavanagh, who points out that the ingredient is not approved for use in the European Union or Japan.

Although Coca-Cola said the beverage was now “BVO-free,” the Powerade website and some bottles still list the ingredient, suggesting the change may still be coming into effect.

Last year PepsiCo said it would stop using the oil in its Gatorade products. Kavanagh’s Gatorade petition had more than 200,000 online signatures, while her Powerade one had more than 59,000.


More Must-Read Stories From TIME

Write to Nolan Feeney at

Read More From TIME
You May Also Like