Wrigley has pulled gum containing caffeine from store shelves following pressure from the FDA. Alert Energy Caffeine Gum is included in a broad FDA investigation into the safety of products infused with caffeine.
Casey Keller, president of Wrigley, made the decision to discontinue sales and marketing of the caffeine gum product after meeting with the FDA. He states that the decision was “out of respect” for the ongoing investigation, which addresses health concerns.
As reported by CS Monitor, the FDA is specifically questioning health concerns for children and teens, as the products contain higher levels of caffeine. Currently, there are few restriction on products that have been enhanced with caffeine. Keller has agreed with the FDA’s decision to work toward regulations and guidelines.
Wrigley pulled the gum from stores, and will discontinue production, until the FDA has agreed on new specifications.
Caffeine has been added to numerous products, which are marketed as providing added energy. Candy, gum, nuts, and even trail mix have been infused with caffeine. The amounts of added caffeine can equal or exceed one cup of coffee per serving.
As many caffeine laced energy products appeal to children and adolescents, the FDA has begun scrutinizing the products. As reported by International Business Times, Beverages combining alcohol and caffeine were recently banned, pending regulations of the amount of caffeine.
Earlier this week, Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a lawsuit against Monster Beverage Corporation, claiming the energy drinks may be harmful. Specifically, Herrera contends that the drinks are marketed to children and adolescents, which may be harmed by the high level of caffeine.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that high levels of caffeine can be harmful for children and adolescents. The stimulant effect can lead increased cardiovascular and neurological concerns, as they are processed differently than in adults.
Wrigley pulled gum containing caffeine in an attempt to cooperate with the FDA. They hope to offer products with safe levels of caffeine in the future.