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FDA to Investigate Caffeine's Impact on Kids

WASHINGTON — Prompted by the launch of a caffeinated gum, the Food and Drug Administration is investigating the health impact of “new and easy sources of caffeine” on children, it announced Monday.

FDA is taking a fresh look at the potential impact that the totality of new and easy sources of caffeine may have on health, particularly vulnerable populations such as children and youth, and if necessary, will take appropriate action,” said Michael Taylor, FDA deputy commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, in a statement.

UPDATE: Wrigly Pulls Caffeinated Gum

The only time the FDA approved the use of caffeine in food was for cola in the 1950s.


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“Today, the environment has changed. Children and adolescents may be exposed to caffeine beyond those foods in which caffeine is naturally found and beyond anything FDA envisioned when it made the determination regarding caffeine in cola,” Taylor said.

Wrigley on Monday introduced Alert Energy Caffeine Gum, which contains 40mg of caffeine — about the same as a half-cup of coffee. The gum is not recommended for children or persons sensitive to caffeine, according to Wrigley.

“Alert Energy Caffeine Gum is an energy product for adults who consume caffeine for energy and are looking for a portable solution that lets them control their caffeine intake,” according to promotional materials.

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