Gatorade said the change was not a response to the petition, although the 15-year-old girl claimed victory.
The ingredient, brominated vegetable oil (BVO), is a chemical containing bromine, which is found in fire retardants. Small quantities of BVO are used legally in some citrus-flavored drinks in the United States to keep the flavor evenly distributed.
Molly Carter, a spokeswoman for Gatorade, said BVO-free versions of those drinks will roll out across the United States in the next couple of months. She said the move to replace BVO has been in the works for some time, and was not a response to the petition by Sarah Kavanagh, the 15-year-old girl from Hattiesburg, Miss.