Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Decaffeinated nannies


So my daughter asked me last night if her dessert had any caffeine in it. I assured her that there was only the caffeine that could already be found in her chocolate cake with none added. And then I went back to my cup of coffee with my dessert.

My daughter has a future ahead of her with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who is concerned with caffeine being added to food. I’m waiting for the DEA to smash in the doors at our favorite Italian restaurant to seize the tiramisu my mother ordered last night.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Deputy Commissioner for Food and Veterinary Medicine Michael Taylor called caffeine additives in snacks from jellybeans to waffles to energy drinks “very disturbing to us” in an interview posted by the agency on Friday.

This week, Taylor announced that the FDA would investigate the effect that foods with added caffeine have on the public and children’s health. He left the door open for future action from the agency, but in the published remarks on Friday he seemed skeptical about the possibility of imposing age restrictions on caffeine.

“While various uses may meet federal food safety standards, the only time FDA explicitly approved adding caffeine was for colas in the 1950s,” Taylor said. “Existing rules never anticipated the current proliferation of caffeinated products.”

The examination of risks posed by caffeinated foods comes in response to Wrigley’s recent launch of Alert Energy Caffeine Gum, a product Taylor called “just one more unfortunate example of the trend to add caffeine to food.”

“Millions of Americans consume caffeine responsibly and in moderation as part of their daily routines,” Wrigley said in a statement to The Hill. The company asserts that the gum “is developed for adults and will be marketed to consumers 25 and older.

Suddenly the FDA decides the age of majority is 25 for caffeine. We’re giving fifteen-year-olds the morning after pill, but if she tries to wash it down with a cup of caffeinated energy water the FDA will be all over that.

So how much caffeine is too much caffeine?

The FDA has previously advised that 600 milligrams of the drug, the equivalent of four to seven cups of coffee, can be too much for adults. The stimulant can cause jitteriness and heightened blood pressure, and the FDA warns that overdosing on caffeine can be fatal.

Yep, a handful of caffeinated jelly beans and a couple sticks of caffeine chewing gum will kill you.

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