FDA May Pop Wrigley’s Caffeine Bubble Gum Ambitions

By on April 30, 2013

Wrigley’s introduction of caffeine gum has drawn the attention of the Food and Drug Administration.  The product, Alert Energy Caffeine Gum, was launched this month.  It contains 40 milligrams of Caffeine, which is about half of the caffeine in a cup of coffee.

The FDA did not name the gum specifically, but announced it would investigate the effects that caffeine added to foods may have on children. Wrigley’s claims the caffeinated gum is marketed to those aged 25 and older.  Caffeine is being added to more and more foods, including potato chips, trail mix and now gum.

Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner of foods, said Monday that the only time FDA approved adding caffeine to foods or drinks was in the 1950s for colas.  Taylor expressed concern about the growing trend of caffeinated foods, stating it’s “beyond anything FDA envisioned,” Taylor said.  In an interview with the associated press, Taylor stated that “It is disturbing.  “We’re concerned about whether they have been adequately evaluated.”

Consumer advocacy groups are concerned that the addition of caffeine to foods, snacks and drinks, particularly ones that appeal to children, will lead to early caffeine addiction and adverse effects through constant ingestion of caffeine.