Wrigley stops production of caffeinated gum, takes it off the market

May 8, 2013 at 10:58 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 8 (UPI) -- Wrigley officials said Wednesday they will stop U.S. production, sales and marketing of their new caffeinated gum Alert Energy Caffeine Gum.

The gum, in mint and fruit, releases caffeine into saliva as it is chewed and some gets swallowed, while some is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the cheeks and under the tongue, CNN reported.

"The FDA applauds Wrigley's decision and its recognition that we need to improve understanding and, as needed, strengthen the regulatory framework governing the appropriate levels and uses of caffeine in foods and beverages," Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said in a statement.

"The company's action demonstrates real leadership and commitment to the public health. We hope others in the food industry will exercise similar restraint."

Wrigley was not the first company to introduce caffeinated chewing gum, CNN said.

"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.

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

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