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Wrigley takes new caffeinated gum off market

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Food and Drug Administration investigation into the safety of caffeine-added foods has prompted Wrigley to take its new caffeinated gum off the market for the time being.

Wrigley said Wednesday that it will temporarily halt sales and marketing of Alert caffeinated gum after discussions with the FDA. President Casey Keller said the company made the move "out of respect" for the agency, which said it would investigate the health effects of added caffeine on children and adolescents just as Wrigley rolled out Alert late last month. A stick of the gum has an amount of caffeine 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," Keller said 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 the caffeine-added products.  Michael Taylor, the FDA's deputy commissioner of foods, said Wrigley's decision to stop production for now "demonstrates real leadership and commitment to the public health."


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