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FDA Will Study the Effects of Wrigley’s Caffeine Gum on Children

Update Date: Apr 30, 2013 10:38 AM EDT
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People often rely on caffeine, whether it is through coffee or energy drinks, to get through the day. If either option for an energy boost does not sound appealing, the chewing gum brand, Wrigley's has introduced the latest way to get a caffeine fix. Wrigley's announced that it has created the new Alert Energy Caffeine Gum, which was revealed this month. Due to the gum's potential risk factors, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it would investigate the effects of this particular product on children.

According to Wrigley's, which is owned by Mars Inc., one piece of gum has 40 milligrams of caffeine, which is roughly the equivalent of half a cup of coffee. The gum is marketed as an energy product to consumers between the ages of 25 and 49. However, regulation on these products is not set and young children might get their hands on them. Due to this risk, the FDA plans on studying the effects of the gum on children.

"The only time that FDA explicitly approved the added use of caffeine in a food was for cola and that was in the 1950s," the FDA deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, Michael Taylor said. "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."

The FDA also stressed that over the past four years, there have been 92 reports of illnesses, hospitalizations, and even death due to the consumption of 5-Hour Energy, an energy drink, and this was not the only product with caffeine that led to health complications. Since these new products with added caffeine are so accessible, the FDA wants to ensure that there are no harmful side effects for children.

Wrigley's has stated that it looks forward to working with the FDA. 

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