FDA to Investigate Added Caffeine tells there is concern about the trend of adding caffeine to food products and drinks. Wrigley's has announced a new 8-piece pack of gum with the each stick containing the equivalent of 1/2 cup of coffee.
The FDA is also investigating the addition of caffeine to jelly beans, sunflower seeds, (What happens if you plant them?) , instant oatmeal, marshmallows, etc.
The considered safe limit for caffeine is 400 milligrams a day, between 4 and 5 cups of coffee. That is for an adult - medical professionals discourage the consumption of caffeine by children and adolescents.
Adding caffeine to products is legal if it meets some safety standards and if they publish caffeine as an ingredient. This rule dates back to the 50s, when the FDA was concerned about caffeine in soft drinks, not products like marshmallows.
In 2010, the FDA took action against caffeinated malt liquor because the combination of alchohol and caffeine misleads drinkers about their state of intoxication.
The FDA believes the food industry should be regulated or persuaded to be more responsible in the products they are producing. Setting age restrictions on food products is not practical. If necessary, the FDA is prepared to being enforcement action.