Waking up to the morning newspaper and a cup of hot coffee is one of life’s great pleasures, but it may soon be only a fondly remembered blast from the past. The newspaper is not going anywhere, but the nannies and the nancy men of the federal government want to take away our caffeine.
Bureaucrats of the Food and Drug Administration fret that America’s long love affair with caffeine has become a dangerous obsession, so the agency last week threatened to ban its use as a food additive.
The FDA first approved the use of caffeine in foods in the 1950s. “Children and adolescents may be exposed to caffeine beyond those foods in which caffeine is naturally found and beyond anything FDA envisioned when it made the determination regarding caffeine in cola,” says Deputy Commissioner Michael R. Taylor. The agency is taking “a fresh look” at caffeinated foods and beverages.
Some American prefer to get their wake-up call from the likes of jelly beans, sunflower seeds and potato chips to which caffeine has been added. The agency has targeted Wrigley’s new Alert Energy Gum, which is to be marketed as a pepper-upper for those who need something to keep them awake.
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