Subway announced this week its plans to remove the controversial chemical Azodiacarbonamide from its bread products, USA Today reported.
"We are already in the process of removing Azodiacarbonamide as part of our bread improvement efforts despite the fact that it is USDA- and FDA-approved ingredient," the company said in a statement. "The complete conversion to have this product out of the bread will be done soon."
Though the company said the removal process has been ongoing, the announcement coincides with an online petition started by health activist Vani Hari, who runs the site FoodBabe.com. According to Hari, the chemical is also commonly used in products like yoga mats and rubber shoes to increase elasticity.
“It’s banned all over the globe, because it’s linked to respiratory issues, allergies and asthma,” Hari wrote in her petition. “This is not ‘eating fresh!’”
Hari considers the company’s decision to remove Azodiacarbonamide’s from its products a great victory for health advocacy.
"I commend Subway for finally responding to me and now over 58,000 concerned citizens. Their swift action is a testament to what power petitions and individuals can have," Hari told USA Today in an email. "I'd like to note that current Subway sandwiches still have this ingredient, and I urge everyone not to eat their sandwich bread until they have finally removed the chemical."