FDA debates caffeine limitations

The Lempert Report
July 12, 2013

The FDA is still working on regulating the addition of caffeine to food products.

The FDA is still working on regulating the addition of caffeine to food products. According to Euromonitor International, caffeinated foods created more than $1.6 billion in domestic retail sales last year. Sales are up nearly 50% compared with five years ago. The FDA however, has only approved the addition of caffeine once since 1950, for cola. The addition of caffeine to foods is a growing concern for the FDA as it also seems to be a growing trend. For example, Wrigley recently halted production of their "Alert Energy Caffeine Gum", “out of respect for the FDA,” Wrigley stating that “A new regulatory framework,” is needed. Four to five cups of coffee, 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, is usually safe for adults. The FDA requires manufactures to include caffeine on their list of ingredients, but they are not required to list the quantity of the drug in each product. There is still no established amount of caffeine with regards to children; but the Academy of Pediatrics discourages all caffeine in children’s diets. The founder of Wired Wyatt's LLC, Roger Sullivan, considers himself a pioneer in the caffeinated snack industry and says this trend is “... something that’s going to continue to grow.” His products; Wired Waffles and Wired Wyatt’s Caffeinated Maple Syrup, breakfast foods with caffeine added for an energy-boost is popular with endurance runners, long haul-truck drivers and the sleep-deprived college student. He advocated clear labeling and acknowledges that his products, as should be the case with all caffeinated snacks are; “intended to be consumed by responsible adults.”