Caffeine is being added to more products, including energy drinks and snack foods, with no regulations requiring the amount of caffeine to be included on the product label. Regulatory reform is needed to protect consumers from caffeine-induced harm and to help them make wise dietary choices, say the authors of an article in Journal of Caffeine Research, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Caffeine Research website.
In “Caffeine Content Labeling: A Missed Opportunity for Promoting Personal and Public Health,” Jon Kole, MD, MBE, Rhode Island Hospital/Bradley Hospital and Brown University (Providence), and Anne Barnhill, PhD, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), call on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require all consumable products to include the amount of any added caffeine on their labels.
Caffeine consumption by children and adolescents is a growing concern. While there are FDA-imposed limits on the quantities of caffeine that can be added to sodas, limits are not in place for other foods or beverages. Added caffeine is increasingly common in foods that might appeal to younger age groups, including in gums, jelly beans, potato chips, beef jerky, and waffles.
“The article by Kole and Barnhill is the latest in a crescendo of calls from the public, politicians, and the scientific community for the FDA to act in relation to caffeine-labeling policy,” says Jack E. James, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Caffeine Research. “The FDA has responded by announcing that it is considering the situation. However, the question now is not whether the FDA will take action to redress anomalies and inconsistencies in caffeine-labeling policy, but when it will act and how effective that action will be. Public interest demands that the action taken be both swift and effective. This article gives important leads as to how the FDA should proceed.”
About the Journal
Journal of Caffeine Research: The International Multidisciplinary Journal of Caffeine Science is a quarterly journal published in print and online that covers the effects of caffeine on a wide range of diseases and conditions, including mood disorders, neurological disorders, cognitive performance, cardiovascular disease, and sports performance. The Journal explores all aspects of caffeine science including the biochemistry of caffeine; its actions on the human body; benefits, dangers, and contraindications; and caffeine addiction and withdrawal, across all stages of the human life span from prenatal exposure to end-of-life. Tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Journal of Caffeine Research website.
About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Breastfeeding Medicine, Journal of Medicinal Food, and Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.