Wrigley pulls ‘energy’ chewing gum in US

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 13th May 2013

Confectionary manufacturer Wrigley has taken its new caffeine-added chewing gum, launched in the US in April 2013, off the market after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began an investigation into the safety of caffeine-added foods.

Wrigley, which is a subsidiary of Mars Inc, said that it will temporarily stop sales and marketing of its ‘Alert’ caffeine-added gum after discussions with the FDA.

Casey Keller, Wrigley President, said in a statement to US media that the Company made the decision “out of respect” for the FDA, which said earlier in May 2013 that it would investigate the health effects of caffeine-added foods, particularly on children and adolescents.

“After discussions with the FDA, we have a great appreciation for its concern about the proliferation of caffeine in the nation’s food supply,” Mr 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,” he said.

Wrigley said temporarily halting production of its caffeine-added gum would give the FDA time to regulate caffeine-added foods.

The FDA has welcomed the move by Wrigley, saying it “demonstrates real leadership and commitment to the public health”.

Australian Food News reported earlier in May 2013 that the FDA would be investigating caffeine-added foods in the USA. The last time the FDA explicitly approved caffeine being added to a product was when caffeine was added to cola soft drinks in the 1950s. The previous Australian Food News article also considered regulation of caffeinated products in several other jurisdictions outside the United States.