Recently, there have been several reports citing illness, hospitalizations, and death after consumption of food and beverages containing high doses of caffeine. These reports have prompted the FDA to investigate multiple products with high amounts of caffeine that are currently being sold on the market. Some of the most notable reports include products such as 5-Hour Energy, Monster Energy Drink, and Wrigley Alert Energy Gum.
The FDA is closely monitoring these types of products and is investigating their safety. They are primarily concerned with the effects of these products on children. The manufacturers of this merchandise claim that they are marketed and labeled exclusively for adult use. However, critics of these products remain skeptical due to the fact that caffeine is added to items like candy, which is attractive to children.
The FDA seeks to limit the intake of unhealthy dosages of caffeine, especially with respect to children. The FDA believes that the dissemination of products composed of high amounts of caffeine create concerns because, “it will be increasingly easy to consume caffeine throughout the day, sometimes unwittingly, as companies add caffeine to candies, nuts, snacks and other foods.” Although several hospital reports mention these caffeinated products, it is still unclear whether the adverse effects were triggered by the caffeine intake. FDA officials state that they would take action if they could link the deaths to consumption of the energy drinks, including forcing the companies to take the products off the market.
Some manufacturers of caffeinated products have already taken internal measures to mitigate the problems caused by their product. For instance, Wrigley has temporarily pulled its new caffeinated energy gum from the market. The production and sale of Wringley’s product, which contains 40 milligrams of caffeine per piece, has ceased. This surprising action implemented by Wrigleys comes only a week after their products introduction to the market. The last instance of FDA action regarding consumption of caffeine was in 2010, when they forced manufacturers of alcoholic caffeinated beverages to cease production of those drinks.