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Food Caffeine Investigated

Wrigley Gum
Tim Boyle, Getty Images

Looking for a new way to get that jolt of caffeine energy? Food companies are betting snacks like potato chips, jelly beans and gum with a caffeinated kick could be just the answer.

The Food and Drug Administration is closely watching the marketing of these foods and wants to know more about their safety. The FDA said Monday it will look at the foods’ effects on children in response to a caffeinated gum introduced this week by Wrigley.

It was learned by the Associated Press that the agency is already investigating the safety of energy drinks and energy shots, prompted by consumer reports of illness and death.
Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner of foods, said Monday that the only time FDA explicitly approved the added use of caffeine in a food or drink was in the 1950s for colas. The current proliferation of caffeine added to foods is ‘beyond anything FDA envisioned.’

Children have been drinking soda with caffeine for generations, but these days it seems like everything from energy drinks to chewing gum is suddenly caffeinated and it’s becoming easier than ever to overdo it.

Doctors are reporting seeing more children suffering from caffeine headaches, heart arrhythmia, even caffeine intoxication.

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