from the New York Daily News
‘After discussions with the FDA, we have a greater appreciation for its concern about the proliferation of caffeine in the nation’s food supply,’ the company announced in a statement.
Wrigley has put its caffeinated chewing gum to rest, at least for now.
The company announced Wednesday it has “paused” sales of its new Alert Energy, which boasted 40 mg of caffeine per piece, the same buzz as a half-cup of coffee.
The decision follows last week’s announcement by the Food and Drug Administration that it is taking a “fresh look” at the effects of added caffeine in foods.
“After discussions with the FDA, we have a greater appreciation for its concern about the proliferation of caffeine in the nation’s food supply,” Casey Keller, Wrigley’s president for North America, said in a statement, adding that the company had marketed Alert Energy “in a safe and responsible manner to consumers 25 years and older.”
Amid the exploding sales of highly caffeinated energy drinks, the stimulant is also popping up in kid-friendly foods like potato chips and candy.
The FDA hasn’t reexamined the use of caffeine in food or drink since the 1950s, when it was approved for colas, the agency’s deputy commissioner of foods, Michael Taylor, told the Associated Press.
The new trend in caffeinated food products is “disturbing” and “beyond anything FDA envisioned,” Taylor said.
On Wednesday he praised Wrigley’s decision to yank the gum, saying it “demonstrates real leadership and commitment to the public health.”
The agency’s look at caffeine will focus on how caffeinated food products affect children’s health, and will include meetings with large food corporations including Mars Inc., Wrigley’s parent company.