Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad
Impressions pre-reset: 420826 Clicks pre-reset: 872

FDA to Investigate Added Caffeine and Effects on Your Children

caffeine 300WASHINGTON, D.C. (5/4/13) – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that, in response to a trend in which caffeine is being added to a growing number of products, the agency will investigate the safety of caffeine in food products, particularly its effects on children and adolescents.
 
Michael R. Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at FDA, answers questions about his concerns and possible FDA actions.
 
Q: The announcement comes just as Wrigley's (a subsidiary of Mars) is promoting a new pack of gum with eight pieces, each containing as much caffeine as half a cup of coffee. Is the timing coincidental?
A: The gum is just one more unfortunate example of the trend to add caffeine to food. Our concern is about caffeine appearing in a range of new products, including ones that may be attractive and readily available to children and adolescents, without careful consideration of their cumulative impact.
 
One pack of this gum is like having four cups of coffee in your pocket. Caffeine is even being added to jelly beans, marshmallows, sunflower seeds and other snacks for its stimulant effect.
 
Meanwhile, "energy drinks" with caffeine are being aggressively marketed, including to young people. An instant oatmeal on the market boasts that one serving has as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, and then there are similar products, such as a so-called "wired" waffle and "wired" syrup with added caffeine.
 
The proliferation of these products in the marketplace is very disturbing to us.
 
Q. What is your first step in this process?
A. We have to address the fundamental question of the potential consequences of all these caffeinated products in the food supply to children and to some adults who may be at risk from excess caffeine consumption. We need to better understand caffeine consumption and use patterns and determine what is a safe level for total consumption of caffeine. Importantly, we need to address the types of products that are appropriate for the addition of caffeine, especially considering the potential for consumption by young children and adolescents.
 
We've already met with some companies to hear their rationale for adding caffeine to varied products and to express our concern. We've also reached out to the American Beverage Association, which represents the non-alcoholic beverage industry, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents food, beverage and consumer-products companies.
 
Q. What is currently considered a safe amount of daily caffeine?
A. For healthy adults FDA has cited 400 milligrams a day—that's about four or five cups of coffee—as an amount not generally associated with dangerous, negative effects. FDA has not set a level for children, but the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the consumption of caffeine and other stimulants by children and adolescents. We need to continue to look at what are acceptable levels.
 
We're particularly concerned about children and adolescents and the responsibility FDA and the food industry have to protect public health and respect social norms that suggest we shouldn't be marketing stimulants, such as caffeine, to our children.
 
Q. What currently are FDA requirements concerning caffeine being added to foods?
A. Manufacturers can add it to products if they decide it meets the relevant safety standards, and if they include it on the ingredient list. While various uses may meet federal food safety standards, the only time FDA explicitly approved adding caffeine was for colas in the 1950s. Existing rules never anticipated the current proliferation of caffeinated products.
 
Q. Is it possible that FDA would set age restrictions for purchase?
A. We have to be practical; enforcing age restrictions would be challenging. For me, the more fundamental questions are whether it is appropriate to use foods that may be inherently attractive and accessible to children as the vehicles to deliver the stimulant caffeine, and whether we should place limits on the amount of caffeine in certain products.
 
Q. Have you taken any actions on other caffeinated products?
A. In 2010, we brought about the withdrawal from the market of caffeinated alcoholic beverages, primarily malt beverages, in part because of studies indicating that combined ingestion of caffeine and alcohol may lead to hazardous and life-threatening situations. Caffeine can mask some of the sensory cues that people might normally rely on to determine their level of intoxication.
 
Q. Don't new regulations take a lot of resources and time?
A. They do. But we believe that some in the food industry are on a dubious, potentially dangerous path. If necessary, and if the science indicates that it is warranted, we are prepared to go through the regulatory process to establish clear boundaries and conditions on caffeine use. We are also prepared to consider enforcement action against individual products as appropriate.
 
However, we hope this can be a turning point for all to prevent the irresponsible addition of caffeine to food and beverages. Together, we should be immediately looking at what voluntary restraint can be used by industry as FDA gets the right regulatory boundaries and conditions in place.
 
I'm hopeful that industry will step up.
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by the Food and Drug Administration
Photo provided by the FDA

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Posted on 2/2/14
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
button coupons
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
button classifieds
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week

November 18, 2014 4989

Couple Charged for Concealing Food in Infant Car…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 17, 2014 4518

Police Charge Woman for Drug Possession After…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 21, 2014 3766

Man Accused of Assaulting Coach During Basketball…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
November 15, 2014 3250

Faces & Stories: Hopkins County Tornado

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
November 17, 2014 3177

Bremen Woman Ejected From Vehicle During Kentucky…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper S.C. Recke
November 19, 2014 2984

Three Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision on South…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gwen Smith
November 15, 2014 2893

18-Year-Old Injured When Pickup Strikes Railroad…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Patrolman Falon Graham
November 15, 2014 2887

PSC Approves Energy Efficiency Programs for…

in General News For All Sites by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
November 19, 2014 2738

Two Killed When Vehicle Becomes Airborne, Strikes…

in Local (Owensboro) Top News by Daviess County Sheriff's Office
November 18, 2014 2476

Area Talent to Film Music Video at Merle Travis…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

November 21, 2014 3766

Man Accused of Assaulting Coach During Basketball…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
November 21, 2014 1988

Crashing Dump Trucks in Work Zone Cause Pennyrile…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
November 20, 2014 1841

Local Church Prepares for 'Return to Bethlehem'

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
November 20, 2014 1834

Man on Bicycle Struck by Vehicle on South Main

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer Jeff Miller
November 20, 2014 1664

Commercial Truck Accident Closes Northbound Lanes…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Chris Rogers
November 20, 2014 1618

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Nov. 20, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
November 20, 2014 1520

Christmas Parades Set for Central City and…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
November 20, 2014 1494

Muhlenberg County Educator Selected for Induction…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by WKU News
November 20, 2014 1456

Man Accused of Kicking in Resident's Door,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Patrolman Russell Nichols
November 21, 2014 1294

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed Down

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss