I try not to write sensational headlines like the one above. But, sometimes, when I’m in a panic over something, I want everyone else to be in a panic, too. The Food and Drug Administration announced it plans to investigate the possibility that they might regulate caffeine in some products. For a caffeine junky enjoyer like me, that type of news sent me running to my French press for a little comfort.

After a calming cup of coffee and a little research, I realized there’s no need for panic. It’s doubtful there will be restrictions on how many cups of coffee I can have per day. But, processed food manufacturers are starting to add caffeine to foods that have never been associated with caffeine before, and the FDA is checking into it. If you want more information, check out these links.

  • The Food and Drug Adminstration has put out a release titled FDA to Investigate Added Caffeine. It’s a Q&A type release where Michael R. Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at FDA answers questions like “The announcement comes just as Wrigley’s (a subsidiary of Mars) is promoting a new pack of gum with eight pieces, each containing as much caffeine as half a cup of coffee. Is the timing coincidental?” His answers have eye-opening information like the fact that caffeine is being added to “jelly beans, marshmallows, sun- flower seeds and other snacks for its stimulant effect.”
  • That gum mentioned in the question above might not actually happen. USA Today says that Wrigley halted the caffeinated gum because the FDA was reviewing safety. Good PR move, Wrigley.
  • Xfinity has a slide show of 12 surprising sources of caffeine. A few of their sources like chocolate are not actually that surprising, but Morning Spark Oatmeal and Sumseeds Energized Sunflower Seeds are products I didn’t know about until I started looking into the FDA announcement.

So for now, it looks like me coffee is safe. Its caffeine is natural, not added. And, it may be wise to figure out how to limit caffeine consumption by youth considering the mounting number of cases where caffeinated energy drinks have harmed kids (perhaps even contributed to deaths.

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