Wrigley says it is taking a new caffeinated gum off the US market temporarily as the Food and Drug Administration investigates the safety of added caffeine.
The company said that it has stopped new sales and marketing of Alert Energy Caffeine Gum "out of respect" for the agency, which said it would investigate the health effects of added caffeine in foods just as Wrigley rolled out Alert late last month. A stick of the gum is equivalent to half a cup of coffee.
Need for change regulatory framework
"After discussions with the FDA, we have a greater appreciation for its concern about the proliferation of caffeine in the nation's food supply," said Wrigley North America President Casey Keller in a statement to The Associated Press. "There is a need for changes in the regulatory framework to better guide the consumers and the industry about the appropriate level and use of caffeinated products."
Keller said the company has paused production and sales of the gum to give the agency time to regulate caffeine-added products.
Food manufacturers have added caffeine to candy, nuts and other snack foods in recent years. Jelly Belly "Extreme Sport Beans," for example, have 50 mg of caffeine in each 100-calorie pack, while Arma Energy Snx markets trail mix, chips and other products that have caffeine.