STEEM is a caffeinated peanut butter being sold in retail stores and online. Its makers say that STEEM is made with natural peanut butter and contains no artificial sweeteners. “Oh, and as much caffeine as two cups of coffee, so stick with the normal serving suggestions for the best effect,” they add. According to the label, STEEM is made with “natural” peanut butter (peanuts and salt), organic agave nectar, peanut oil and natural caffeine (from green coffee extract). There’s 1,200 mg. of caffeine in a jar of STEEM and 150 mg. per serving. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just might have a problem with that. On Dec. 15, FDA sent a letter off to STEEM Peanut Butter Inc. in Greenfield, MA, requesting more information about the manufacturer’s use of caffeine in peanut butter. The agency noted that it is “concerned about the marketing of a peanut butter, a food popular with many children, containing added caffeine.” FDA stated that in media reports STEEM has said that it plans to “behave responsibly,” but the company has yet to submitted to FDA any information about the safety of using caffeine in its peanut butter product. FDA said that it needs the information it is requesting to determine whether the product meets applicable scientific and legal standards for lawful sale in the U.S. The agency remains concerned about the increasing number of products on the market containing added caffeine and the possibility for harmful effects when multiple caffeinated products are eaten simultaneously, especially in products that are attractive to children. FDA intends to continue monitoring the marketing of these novel food products in order to ensure public health and the integrity of the regulatory system designed to protect the food supply.
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