PepsiCo, the maker of Mountain Dew, is being sued by Roland Ball of Wisconsin, who claims he found a dead mouse in his can of soda.
According to Ball's lawsuit, which dates from 2009, he opened a can of Mountain Dew from a vending machine, he tasted something foul and spat out a mouse carcass that had been packed in the can.
Ball, who is seeking damages of up to $50,000, says he sent the dead mouse to Pepsi's headquarters, but that the company destroyed the rodent before he could prove his story.
PepsiCo is fighting Ball's claim, but not for the reasons you might think. The company simply claims the acid used when the drink is bottled would have dissolved the carcass, rendering the mouse into jelly-like substance.
'The mouse would have dissolved.'
Pepsi's lawyers are arguing, based on the mouse carcass that Ball sent to them, that the dead rodent couldn't possibly have been inside a Mountain Dew can-- the soda's bottling process and contents are, apparently, far too corrosive for the animal to stay intact.
The mouse would have dissolved in the soda had it been in the can from the time of its bottling until the day the plaintiff drank it, Pepsi's lawyers said, according to The Record.
The Dangers of BVO
But the chemicals used during the bottling process aren't the only thing Mountain Dew drinkers should be wary of. As Gizmodo points out, brominated vegetable oil (BVO) could also turn mouse carcasses into jelly, and even dissolve the body completely if given enough time.
BVO is banned in Europe and Japan. In its spare time away from giving sodas ike Mountain Dew some punch, the chemical is also used as a flame retardant and an additive in foam cushions and the plastics used in electronics.
Back in 1977, the FDA set a safe limit for BVO, but scientists believe that the chemical found in Mountain Dew and other beverages may be causing more harm than the earlier study let on. According to Environmental Health News, a couple of extreme soda binges does more than make subjects extra jittery: it can also cause skin lesions, memory loss and mild nerve disorders.
In mouse studies (yes, even here mice were subjected to the power of Dew), large doses of BVO caused serious reproductive and behavioral problems.
Would You Still 'Do the Dew'?
Pepsi's decision to defend itself against the idea that a mouse's body could last in a can may shine an uncomfortable light on what's inside some of America's classic sodas. BVO, for example, isn't just found in Mountain Dew. It's also an ingredient in Squirt, Fanta Orange, Sunkist Pineapple, Gatorade Thirst Quencher Orange, Powerade Strawberry Lemonade and Fresca Original Citrus.
It's likely that Pepsi's lawyers will win the suit against Roland Ball, especially with such a wealth of experts testifying to the potency of the chemicals their soda contains.
But if this case gains enough media attention, or ends up coming to trial, there are sure to be quite a few soda drinkers resolving never to Do the Dew again.