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FDA will investigate added caffeine in foods

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For people seeking an energy boost, companies are increasing their offerings of foods with added caffeine. A new caffeinated gum may have gone too far.

The Food and Drug Administration said Monday that it will investigate the safety of added caffeine and its effects on children and adolescents. The agency made the announcement just as Wrigley was rolling out Alert Energy Gum, a new product that includes as much caffeine as a half a cup of coffee in one piece and promises "the right energy, right now."

Michael Taylor, FDA's deputy commissioner of foods, indicated that the proliferation of new foods with caffeine added -- especially the gum, which he equates to "four cups of coffee in your pocket" -- may even prompt the FDA to look closer at the way all food ingredients are regulated.

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