We recently brought you word of an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration into caffeine’s effect on children. The move was prompted in part by the introduction of a caffeinated gum onto the marketplace, but really, momentum for such an action has been building for awhile now thanks to the prevalence of energy drinks, caffeinated potato chips, and other products loaded with caffeine.
But now, the very item that arguably led to the FDA’s decision to launch an inquiry will be withheld from the market for the time being. Wrigley has announced that their Alert Energy Caffeine Gum will not be marketed and sold until the FDA is able to properly explore the risks of caffeine to kids. The company’s North American President explained that talks with the FDA had highlighted the need for new regulatory standards, and thus the gum will be held up, presumably until those standards are in place.
The FDA has voiced support for Wrigley’s decision to voluntarily refrain from the sale of caffeinated gum. He hopes that their actions will serve as a standard for other companies that have released caffeinated products.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is attempting to get the word out about the threat caffeine might pose to children. Because it would appear that kids are unable to process the stimulant the same way that adults can, the organization is concerned that the development of cardiovascular and neurological systems would be impeded.