Wrigley Pulls Caffeinated Gum From Market

FDA begins investigation

May 9, 2013
Outside Magazine

Wrigley has taken its much-hyped caffeinated gum, Alert, off the market after the Food and Drug Administration opened an investigation into the safety of food products infused with the drug.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Wrigley president Casey Keller said his company was backing down to give the agency more time to probe caffeine's health effects on youth:

"After discussions with the FDA, we have a greater appreciation for its concern about the proliferation of caffeine in the nation's food supply," Keller said…"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."

The gum, which contains the equivalent of half a cup of coffee per stick, is the latest arrival in a wave of caffeinated snack foods which include Jelly Belly's "Extreme Sport Beans," as well as caffeinated chips and popcorn.

The FDA doesn't currently regulated caffeinated foods, and hasn't directly approved a caffeinated product since the 1950s, when it gave the OK for the substance to be added to soda.