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Posts Tagged ‘Wrigley’

Update: ‘Wrigley’ Pulls ‘Alert’ Caffeinated Gum in Light of FDA Concerns

We told you on Monday about the FDA‘s investigation into foods with added caffeine, the organization’s  main concern being that the current proliferation of caffeinated foods on the market (drinks, energy shots, candy, snack mixes, etc.), may be causing people, especially children, to consume unhealthy and potentially unsafe amounts of the stimulant.

Wrigley‘s newly released Alert Energy caffeinated gum, which contains roughly 40mg of caffeine per piece, found itself in the hot seat in light of the new FDA probe. The company initially insisted that its product was intended for (and marketed to) adults, saying, “Millions of Americans consume caffeine responsibly and in moderation as part of their daily routines,” but after discussing the issue with the regulatory body, Wrigley has changed its tune.

“After discussions with the FDA, we have a greater appreciation for its concern about the proliferation of caffeine in the nation’s food supply,” Wrigley North America President Casey Keller said in a statement to the AP. “There is a need for changes in the regulatory framework to better guide the consumers and the industry about the appropriate level and use of caffeinated products.” Read more

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Marketed to Adults, but Hurting Kids? FDA Launches Investigation Into Foods With Added Caffeine

Once upon a time, when a person needed a morning jump-start or a midday pick-me-up, they reached for a cup of coffee. These days, though, coffee has some serious competition; weary folks can now choose from an array of amped-up foodstuffs, including gum, concentrated energy shots, candy, and even caffeinated Cracker Jacks.

Michael Taylor, the FDA‘s deputy commissioner of foods, said that the only time the FDA explicitly approved the practice of adding caffeine to a food or drink was in the 1950s when it allowed the stimulant to be included in cola. The current prevalence of caffeine-filled foods is “beyond anything FDA envisioned,” Taylor said. “It is disturbingWe’re concerned about whether they have been adequately evaluated.”

The governing body is especially concerned when it comes to the effects of such foods on children; while kids aren’t likely to seek out a boring cup of joe, they may be more apt to grab a bag of jolt-inducing jelly beans. The American Academy of Pediatrics has linked caffeine to harmful effects on young people’s still-developing neurological and cardiovascular systems. So, while the FDA is already investigating the safety of energy drinks and energy shots (thanks to consumer reports of illness and death), the organization has decided to go a step further and look specifically at the foods’ effects on children.

Companies that manufacture and market caffeinated foods say that their products are intended for — and marketed to — adults. Wrigley, which recently released Alert Energy Gum (40 milligrams of caffeine per piece), pointed out that packages of the gum are labeled “for adult use only.” A spokesperson for the company said, “Millions of Americans consume caffeine responsibly and in moderation as part of their daily routines.”

While that may be, critics say it’s not enough for companies to say they are marketing the products to adults, who are capable of making more informed decisions about the amount of caffeine they consume, when the foods themselves are clearly attractive (and readily available) to children. In a letter to the FDA, Michael Jacobson, director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said of such foods: “One serving of any of these foods isn’t likely to harm anyone. The concern is that it will be increasingly easy to consume caffeine throughout the day, sometimes unwittingly, as companies add caffeine to candies, nuts, snacks and other foods.”

In acknowledgement that the consumption of one caffeinated item may not cause adverse effects, the probe will focus on the effects of added caffeine in its totality, and whether the increasing number of caffeinated products on the market might mean more adverse health effects for children.

Edelman Reboots Its Russian Operations

Edelman PR LogoWe’re fascinated by the very concept of public relations in a formerly closed society like the one now run by Russia’s Vladimir Putin. But the practice certainly does exist, and this weekend Edelman PR announced plans to continue the scheduled reboot of its Russian operations after facing some challenges that led the firm to liquidate its Russian acquisition Imageland.

In 2012 Edelman “ran into some problems” due to pushback from Russia’s Solidarity trade union, which encouraged laid off Imageland employees to form their own union and take legal action against the firm. That spat appears to have resolved itself; in an interview with The Holmes Report, Edelman Russia general manager Kerry Irwin confirms that the office’s staff will include several former Imageland executives who stuck around through a wave of departures.

Edelman represents brands like HP, Wrigley and Mars in Russia. The firm apparently does not plan to work directly with Putin’s government like Ketchum sometimes does, but the Kremlin could certainly use the help: Edelman’s own 2013 “Trust Barometer” study found that Russian citizens unsurprisingly report some of the world’s lowest rates of trust in their own government and media outlets. We’d suggest more Boyz II Men concerts as a good way to start winning the public back, because if there’s one thing pretty much everyone around the world can agree on, it’s the healing power of 90′s R&B.