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Should Caffeine Be Regulated as a Controlled Substance?

What's the Latest Development?

As the number and variety of products containing caffeine grow, the Food and Drug Administration has entered the fray with public statements about market regulations designed to keep absurd products, such as caffeinated oatmeal, waffles and syrup, away from children. Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at the FDA, said: "The proliferation of these products in the marketplace is very disturbing to us ... We have to address the fundamental question of the potential consequences of all these caffeinated products in the food supply to children and to some adults who may be at risk from excess caffeine consumption."

What's the Big Idea?

The FDA admits that restricting the sale of caffeinated products would be difficult to enforce and would likely provoke an emotional reaction from people who love their caffeine the way the NRA loves guns. Instead, the food safety body may restrict the marketing of caffeinated goods. "The only time the FDA explicitly approved adding caffeine to anything was for use in colas in the 1950s, not long after increased caffeine replaced coca extract in soda... Much as the Second Amendment did not anticipate M45 Quadmount anti-aircraft machine guns, that mid-century caffeine allowance by the FDA was not meant to speak to today's energy drinks."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at the Atlantic

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