A chemical additive found in yoga mats and shoe rubber will no longer be included in Subway's sandwich bread, the chain announced Thursday. The move comes after a petition started by blogger Vani Hari gained over 50,000 signatures, although a spokesperson for the company maintains that they were already planning on getting rid of it, anyway.
"The complete conversion to have this product out of the bread will be done soon," Subway said in a statement.
The chemical, azodicarbonamide, is legal in the U.S. at up to 45 parts per million, but has been banned in Europe and Australia. The World Health Organization linked it to respiratory issues, allergies and asthma. It's included in other food products, too, but Hari said that Subway, with its "Eat fresh" mottos and endorsement from first lady Michelle Obama, was a particularly appropriate target for her campaign.
The petition is but the latest effort to get companies to stop including random, potentially dangerous chemicals in their food. Hari has previously (and successfully) targeted Kraft for a yellow dye used in its mac and cheese that's been linked to hyperactivity in children, as well as Chick-fil-A for its inclusion of dyes, corn syrup and petroleum-based preservative TBHQ in its sandwiches.