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Tracing Food Controversies Back to GRAS

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Update: This article has been edited to remove references to caramel coloring. What do trans fat, caffeine and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have in common? Each of these distinct, seemingly unrelated food controversies actually shares a common origin: the generally recognized as safe (GRAS) process. In fact, a wide range of food controversies — from sweeteners to… Continue Reading

Institute Releases Latest Buzz From Caffeine Workshop

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The Institute of Medicine (IOM) today released a 150-page summary of the two-day workshop held in August 2013 to examine the potential health impacts from consuming caffeine in dietary supplements and foods. Presenters included experts from across the country and even Canada. The document does not contain any recommendations or position statements from IOM, but… Continue Reading

Wrigley Halts Rollout of Caffeinated Gum in Response to FDA Concerns

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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… Continue Reading

FDA to Investigate Safety of Added Caffeine

Move prompted by release of new caffeinated gum

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Monday that it will reexamine the safety of caffeine added to foods. The decision was prompted by the release of a new caffeinated gum called Alert, manufactured by Wrigley, which hit markets Monday. The last time FDA looked at caffeine as a food additive was in the 1950s… Continue Reading

CSPI Calls New 5-hour Energy Safety Video Misleading

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The Washington, DC-based Center for Science in the Public Interest is asking consumers “not to believe” a new video posted online by 5-hour Energy, which has come under fire recently after reports of health issues possibly linked to the product. The company took to YouTube to defend the safety of its product, but CSPI is… Continue Reading

Five U.S. Consumers Drank Same Energy Drink Before Death, Records Show

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Over the past eight years, five people have died shortly after drinking Monster brand energy drinks, according to government records. This fact was discovered by a Maryland mother who requested to see reports of adverse health effects linked to Monster products after her daughter died in late 2011 hours after consuming the company’s energy drinks…. Continue Reading

FDA Questions AeroShot Caffeine ‘Inhaler’

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to Breathable Foods for “false and misleading” statements about AeroShot, a product the company claims is “inhalable caffeine” but the FDA says is a actually a dietary supplement intended to be swallowed. “Your labeling is false and misleading because your product cannot be intended for… Continue Reading

Can Energy Drinks Be a Gateway to Addictions?

People who start drinking the soft drinks known as “energy” beverages early in life may be more prone to anxiety, depression, and addictive behavior later on, some research suggests. Dr. Conrad Woolsey, an assistant professor of applied health and educational psychology at Oklahoma State University, has written several scholarly articles and lectured extensively on energy… Continue Reading

FDA: Caffeine and Alcohol Don’t Mix

It’s been almost two months since top federal regulators threatened to ban caffeinated alcoholic drinks, and manufacturers of these beverages have hardly blinked. In a statement issued on November 13, 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told nearly 30 manufacturers of the drinks that they had 30 days to prove combining alcohol and caffeine… Continue Reading