DR. OZ SHOW to Feature Teen Who Started Change.org Petition

Today THE Dr. Oz SHOW will feature 16-year-old Sarah Kavanagh, the Mississippi teen whose popular Change.org petition has been credited with capturing consumer outrage over brominated vegetable oil (BVO), after Gatorade announced plans to remove the ingredient from their sports beverages last Friday.

"Americans vote with their pocketbook each time they purchase food and beverages, and the announcement last week demonstrates that even large companies respond to consumer concerns," said Mehmet Oz, M.D. host The Dr. Oz Show. "Let us all draw inspiration from Sarah's example that one person can make a difference, and we can all build a safer, healthier world through determination and cooperation."

Kavanagh, a high school sophomore and active member of a local volleyball team in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, said she first became aware of BVO when she searched the internet for the ingredients of the Orange Gatorade she was drinking. When Kavanagh read about BVO, she immediately dumped out the remainder of her drink.

"When I went to Change.org to start my petition, I thought it might get a lot of support because no one wants to gulp down flame retardant, especially from a drink they associate with being healthy," said Kavanagh after hearing about the victory. "But with Gatorade being as big as they are, sometimes it was hard to know if we'd ever win.

"I want to thank The Dr. Oz Show for devoting their air time to explain exactly why this ingredient is so concerning, and consumers will be able to see first hand the risks in the January 30 broadcast. Two days after the taping, Pepsi revealed they were responding to consumer concerns as this became the focal point of our national conversation on health.

"Companies like Gatorade put so much thought into marketing," she added. "As someone who loves to drink their products, I'm so glad they're making strides to put as much consideration into their customers' health."

Kavanagh says her petition was inspired in part by a Scientific American article linking BVO to chemical residues inside children, contamination of breast milk, and brominated flame retardants' connections to "neurological development, reduced fertility, early onset of puberty and altered thyroid hormones."

BVO remains in a number of other popular PepsiCo and Coca-Cola products like Mountain Dew, Fresca, and the popular sports drink Powerade.

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