Chewing gum and mint giant Wrigley announced last week that it will temporarily remove its new caffeinated gum from the market after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expressed concerns over the product’s safety.
The gum was greeted with skepticism immediately after its release late last month by FDA and consumer groups alike.
The federal food safety agency said the gum is the latest in a series of products containing added caffeine at levels beyond those FDA considered when it last evaluated the issue in the 1950s while assessing the safety of caffeine in colas.
Given the rise of added caffeine in food and drinks since that time, FDA declared its intention to reevaluate the safety of added caffeine in foods and beverages.
The agency made this announcement April 29, the same day Wrigley released its caffeinated gum, Alert, which contains 40 mg of caffeine per stick – the amount found in half a cup of coffee.
Wrigley responded to FDA’s concerns Thursday, saying it would halt production and sales of Alert.
FDA praised the move and encouraged other companies to follow Wrigley’s lead.
“The FDA applauds Wrigley’s decision and its recognition that we need to improve understanding and, as needed, strengthen the regulatory framework governing the appropriate levels and uses of caffeine in foods and beverages,” said Michael Taylor, FDA Deputy Commissioner of Health and Veterinary Medicine, in a statement Thursday.
With these words, Taylor signaled that stricter regulation of added caffeine in foods and beverages is on the horizon.
“We look forward to working with industry, the scientific and medical community, and all interested parties to address the issues posed by added caffeine in foods and beverages,” said Taylor.© Food Safety News