FDA calls for recall of PRIME energy drink with caffeine from 6 cans of Coke – NBC Chicago


The influencer-endorsed energy drink that gained viral popularity among children is under intense scrutiny from lawmakers and health experts because of the potentially dangerous levels of caffeine it contains.

Sen. Charles Schumer on Sunday called on the Food and Drug Administration to investigate PRIME, a beverage brand founded by YouTube stars Logan Paul and KSI that has become a thing among influencers with legions of young followers.

“One of the hottest summer status symbols for kids isn’t clothes or toys, it’s a drink,” said Schumer, Democrat of New York. “But buyer and parent beware because it’s a health risk for kids.”

Backed by two of YouTube’s most popular stars, PRIME caused an immediate stir when it launched last year, prompting long lines at grocery stores and reports of resale markets in schoolyards. .

Neon-colored cans marketing themselves as sugar-free and vegan are part of a growing number of high-caffeine energy drinks; In the case of PRIME, 200 milligrams per 12 ounces, that’s about half a dozen cans of Coke, or nearly two Red Bulls.

This high content has led to bans from some schools in the UK and Australia, where some pediatricians have warned of potential health effects in young children, such as heart problems, anxiety and digestive problems. .

And company representatives defended the product by clearly labeling it as “not recommended for children under 18 years of age.” They sell a proprietary sports drink called PRIME hydration that contains absolutely no caffeine. PRIME representatives did not immediately return a request for comment.

But in a letter to the FDA, Schumer said there’s a stark difference in the internet marketing of the two drinks — leading many parents to believe they’re buying juice for their kids, only to end up with a “cauldron of caffeine.”

“A simple social media search for Prime yields the majority of sponsored content, which is advertising,” he wrote. “This content and the claims made should be examined in conjunction with the ingredients and caffeine content of Prime energy drink.”

A PRIME spokesperson said in an email to NBC Chicago: “Primarily sold PRIME Energy 2023 is reduced and has caffeine levels comparable to other popular energy drinks, all within limits. It is legal in the countries where it is sold. It met all FDA guidelines before it went on sale and clearly states on the packaging as well as marketing materials that it is an energy drink and not intended for people under 18 years of age.

“As a brand, our top priority is consumer safety, so we welcome discussions with the FDA or any other organization regarding industry changes we believe are necessary to protect consumers,” the statement said. , adds that PRIME also makes a moisturizing product. , which is separate from PRIME Energy.

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