Baylen Linnekin on the FDA's New Caffeine Crackdown


Credit: sparktography / / CC BY-NC

The FDA announced earlier this week that it will investigate "any and all products with added caffeine." FDA officials claim they were spurred to take action after the recent introduction of one product, Alert Energy Gum, a new caffeinated gum made by Wrigley, arguing that such a novel product necessitates a longer look at all foods and beverages that contain added caffeine. Baylen Linnekin reminds us that the last time the FDA warned the public about products containing caffeine, back in 2009, the result was a ban on the addition of caffeine to beers like Four Loko. Today, he says, there's good reason to fear for the future of everything from caffeinated gum to energy drinks, and from caffeinated beef jerky to Mountain Dew, all of which could be in jeopardy under the strict interpretation of FDA rules the agency wields at its whim.