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Subway to remove from bread a chemical used to make yoga mats

This photo taken Aug. 11, 2009, shows a chicken breast sandwich and water from Subway in New York.

Seth Wenig/The Associated Press

Subway's motto is "eat fresh." Sounds tasty, doesn't it? Certainly sounds a lot yummier than "Subway – eat a chemical used to make yoga mats."

Following pressure from a petition launched by food blogger Vani Hari, Subway announced on Thursday that it will be removing the chemical azodicarbonamide from the bread in its sandwiches.

As ABC News reported, the World Health Organization has linked the chemical, legal in Canada and the United States, to asthma, allergies and respiratory issues.

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"It helps … produce the air within the foam of a yoga mat," Hari told ABC News. "It does the same thing for bread."

The petition Hari launched has garnered more than 50, 000 signatures, although Subway said was "already in the process of removing azodicarbonamide as part of our bread improvement efforts."

Hari, a 34-year-old who lives in North Carolina, said she was "upset" to learn that something marketed to her as healthy actually contained the chemical, which is banned in Europe and Australia.

"And they have an American Heart Association logo and stamp on their sandwiches," she said. "I really had the illusion of healthy eating. When I saw what was actually in the bread, I was horrified."

Subway said that the "complete conversation to have this product out of the bread will be done soon."

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About the Author

Dave McGinn writes about fitness trends for the Life section and also reports for Globe Arts. Prior to joining the Globe, he was a freelance journalist, covering topics from trying to eat Michael Phelps' diet to why the Joker is the best villain in comics history. He's working on improving his 10k time. More

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