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Go back to coffee! Caffeine-packed chewing gum pulled off shelves

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 9th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Chewing gum is supposed to put a spring in the step of those who chew it - but there is too much of a good thing. The Food and Drug Administration is conducting a study on the effect of caffeinated food on children, and as a result, gum manufacturer is pulling its caffeinated gum Alert from store shelves. 

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The FDA is aiming to develop a "regulatory framework for the addition of caffeine to foods and drinks."

Wrigley, a subsidiary of Mars Inc., has agreed to pull Alert off the shelves in cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration's investigation into the potential impact of caffeinated foods on children and adolescents.  

Casey Keller, Wrigley's North American president said in a statement that they've paused production, sales, and marketing of Alert, in order to "give the FDA time to develop a new regulatory framework for the addition of caffeine to foods and drinks," the Chicago Tribune reported.

Wrigley emphasized that their intent was to sell Alert to adults aged 25-49. "After discussions with the FDA, we have a greater appreciation for its concern about the proliferation of caffeine in the nation's food supply," Keller said in the announcement. "There is a need for changes in the regulatory framework to better guide consumers and the industry about the appropriate level and use of caffeinated products."

A number of caffeine related problems that have stricken the country. There have been at least 92 reports of caffeine related illnesses, hospital visits, and deaths over the past four years in relation to the 5-hour energy drink. There have been similar complaints against the Monster energy drink. 

In 2010, the agency also prohibited the sale of caffeinated alcohol, such as Four Loko and Spark.

Wrigley's effort to get into caffeinated food was meant to broaden its core market, since the recession caused their most loyal purchasers, i.e. teenagers to spend their disposable income on other things.

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