Are all our caffeinated products in danger? Wrigley has just announced that it will temporarily stop selling and marketing Alert caffeinated gum after the FDA announced its investigation of caffeinated food products.
AP reports that president Casey Keller said the company decided to stop selling Alert temporarily "out of respect" for the FDA, although Alert was just rolled out late last month. Each stick of Alert reportedly has as much caffeine as a half-cup of coffee.
"When Wrigley began Alert Energy Caffeine Gum, we took great strides to ensure that the product was formulated, distributed, and marketed in a safe and responsible way to consumers 25 years old and over," Casey Keller, president of Wrigley, said in a statement.
Since the release, however, and after discussions with the FDA, Wrigley has pulled the gum due to a "greater appreciation for its concern about the proliferation of caffeine in the nation's food supply."
Of course, not every caffeinated food purveyor feels the same. Rival caffeine gum company X8 isn't pulling its product, with co-founder Rob Di Marco saying in a statement, "Let’s be real here, caffeine products have been safely consumed by adults for hundreds of years... Our product, and the likes of Redbull, Monster, and so many others are not made for kids. Parents need to parent, and this nanny-state mentality must stop infringing on the choices Americans can freely make."
In the meantime, Michael Taylor, the FDA's deputy commissioner of foods, applauds Wrigley's decision to halt production, saying it "demonstrates real leadership and commitment to the public health." We wonder what this means for our caffeinated maple syrup.