Chewing gum advertising that it offers the same amount of caffeine as half a cup of coffee has been pulled from store shelves temporarily after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had concerns about food products with added caffeine.
Mars-owned Wrigley announced on Wednesday that it would pull Alert Energy caffeinated gum from stores due to the FDA's pressure to allow the agency to examine food products that contain caffeine, the NY Daily News reported Thursday.
“After discussions with the FDA, we have a greater appreciation for its concerns about the proliferation of caffeine in the nation’s food supply,” said Wrigley North American President, Casey Keller.
The product, which contains 40mg of caffeine, was originally targeted at gum-chewers 25-years-old and older, according to Keller.
FDA Agency Deputy Commissioner of Foods Michael Taylor said he is pleased to hear Wrigley was pulling the product from shelves amid what he feels is a growing caffeinated food trend.
“It demonstrated real commitment to the public health,” Taylor said.
Alert Energy’s official site and Facebook page have been pulled by the Chicago-based company. As of Friday, the controversial product was still available from online retailers such as Amazon.
In 2010, caffeine was a cause for concern for the FDA after caffeinated alcoholic beverages, such as Four Loko, became popular with youths. As a result, the FDA warned beverage-makers of the potentially deadly effects of the caffeine-laced drinks.
Earlier this year, the FDA announced that a ban on the once-popular beverages may be lifted after the beverage industry adopts new rules for marketing caffeine-infused alcoholic products.
On Tuesday, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera sued Monster Beverage Corp. over concerns that caffeinated Monster Energy beverages are potentially harmful to young consumers. The corporation responded by stating that its energy drinks had 92mg of caffeine, less than one cup of Starbuck’s coffee, which is reported to contain 300mg.