The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

May 10, 2013

Other Views: Caffeine in candy bad idea

— So how gullible are we? Food manufacturers say their caffeine-pumped food is intended for adults. Included in those foods are Jelly Belly “Extreme Sport Beans,” which have 50 mg of caffeine in each 100-calorie pack. A cup of coffee has about 100 mg of caffeine.

You probably don’t see many grown-ups putting down their mugs of coffee and tea or even cans of cola in the morning to reach for a package of caffeinated jelly beans.

And now that Wrigley’s has introduced a caffeinated gum, the Food and Drug Administration has decided to look at the issue of caffeine-laden foods more closely and find out specifically how children’s health is affected. Wrigley’s has since pulled the gum from store shelves until it can be studied more.

The FDA already is studying the safety of energy drinks and energy shots because of reports of illness and death possibly associated with their consumption. Consumer Reports says some of the drinks contain much more than a cup of coffee. And the safe limit of caffeine for children, depending on their size, is 45-85 grams a day.

Caffeine is a stimulant that needs to be treated as such. The FDA hasn’t tackled the issue much since the 1950s when soda companies were allowed to add caffeine to their products. As caffeine is now being added to a growing list of foods, the sooner the FDA looks at the issue and regulates it more tightly, the better off children will be. If a child drinks caffeinated soda, chews caffeinated gum, snacks on caffeinated candy, it won’t take much for him to go over the recommended limit.

As Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner of foods, said: Carrying around a pack of caffeinated gum is like having “four cups of coffee in your pocket.”

Kids have easy access to lots of food that’s not good for them, and parents need to help educate them about good choices. But when a drug is added to more everyday foods that the young population has access to, the FDA needs to step up its control.

— The Mankato, Minn., Free Press

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Opinion
  • Our View.jpg Our View: No need for No. 9

    “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that the people shall be secure in their electronic communications and data from unreasonable searches and seizures as they are now likewise secure in their persons, homes, papers and effects?”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: ‘Right to Farm’ is wrong

    On Aug. 5, voters will be asked to make a decision about Amendment 1.

    July 29, 2014

  • Your View: No on Amendment 7

    The Missouri Department of Transportation is wanting more money through a three-quarter-cent addition to the sales tax. Consider one example of how it spends your money.

    July 29, 2014

  • Your View: Bad way to get revenue

    I received two fliers through the mail today asking me to vote “yes” on Amendment 7, which would add a three-quarter-cent tax to Missouri’s sales tax to help maintain roads and bridges.

    July 29, 2014

  • Other Views Other Views: Symptom of bad policy

    The Obama administration continues to be surprised and shocked when its policies of good intentions suddenly meet the hard reality of unintended consequences.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rebecca French Smith, guest columnist: Amendment 1: Farmers are 'boots on the ground'

    Take a moment and ask yourself who was the last person in your family to farm.

    July 28, 2014

  • Your View; Makes no sense

    Chess was never my game. It’s too complicated.

    July 28, 2014

  • Your View: Time value of money

     I was shaking my head along with Anson Burlingame (“Much has changed in U.S. over 14 years,” Globe, July 22), then he offered his readers a chance: “Go ahead — take your pick.”

    July 28, 2014

  • Your View: Boiling a frog

    We voters are now being urged to vote on Aug. 5 for Amendment 7 “to fix our roads, highways and bridges.”

    July 28, 2014

  • Our view: 'Yes' on 7

    Opponents of Amendment 7 say this: “Missouri families are already hard pressed to pay their bills during this period of slow economic recovery.”

    July 26, 2014

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