May 8, 2013 10:45 PM by Connie Murphy
WASHINGTON (AP) - Wrigley says it is taking a new caffeinated gum off the market temporarily as the Food and Drug Administration investigates the safety of added caffeine.
The company said Wednesday that it has stopped new sales and marketing of Alert Energy Caffeine Gum "out of respect" for the agency, which said it would investigate the health effects of added caffeine in foods just as Wrigley rolled out Alert late last month. A stick of the gum is equivalent to half a cup of coffee.
"After discussions with the FDA, we have a greater appreciation for its concern about the proliferation of caffeine in the nation's food supply," said Wrigley North America President Casey Keller in a statement to The Associated Press. "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."
Keller said the company has paused production and sales of the gum to give the agency time to regulate caffeine-added products.
Michael Taylor, FDA's deputy commissioner of foods, said Wrigley's decision to stop production for now "demonstrates real leadership and commitment to the public health." He said the company made the move after a series of discussions with the agency.