The 2-page handout

The reading

The Coca-Cola Company, the world's largest beverage maker, is amending the recipe of several of its drinks following an online petition. The drinks manufacturer will remove a substance called brominated vegetable oil (BVO) from drinks like Powerade and Fanta. BVO is a food additive that helps stop other ingredients from separating. It contains the chemical bromide, which is commonly used as a flame retardant. Coca-Cola spokesman Josh Gold advised consumers that: "All of our beverages, including those with BVO, are safe and always have been, and [they] comply with all regulations in the countries where they are sold. The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority."

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In 1970, the USA's Food and Drug Administration removed BVO from its "generally recognised as safe" list but did not ban its use. The substance was the subject of a social media campaign to get it removed from drinks. An American teenager, Sarah Kavanagh, started a petition on the site She questioned why the ingredient was being used in what are supposed to be health drinks. More than 200,000 people signed the petition. Ms Kavanagh said: "It's really good to know that companies, especially big companies, are listening to consumers." She added: "I'm glad to know the Powerade sold at my school and consumed by people around the world will be a little bit healthier without BVO."



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