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PepsiCo Will Halt Use of Additive in Gatorade

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announced on Friday that it would no longer use an ingredient in Gatorade after consumers complained.

The ingredient, brominated vegetable oil, which was used in citrus versions of the sports drink to prevent the flavorings from separating, was the object of a petition started on by Sarah Kavanagh, a 15-year-old from Hattiesburg, Miss., who became concerned about the ingredient after reading about it online. Studies have suggested there are possible side effects, including neurological disorders and altered thyroid hormones.

The petition attracted more than 200,000 signatures, and this week, Ms. Kavanagh was in New York City to tape a segment for "The Dr. Oz Show." She visited The New York Times on Wednesday and while there said, "I just don't understand why they can't use something else instead of B.V.O."

"I was in algebra class and one of my friends kicked me and said, 'Have you seen this on Twitter?' " Ms. Kavanagh said in a phone interview on Friday evening. "I asked the teacher if I could slip out to the bathroom, and I called my mom and said, 'Mom, we won.' "

Molly Carter, a spokeswoman for Gatorade, said the company had been testing alternatives to the chemical for roughly a year "due to customer feedback." She said Gatorade initially was not going to make an announcement, "since we don't find a health and safety risk with B.V.O."
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