Caffeinated peanut butter poses a risk to consumers, the U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has claimed on Sunday, November 8.
As a a result, the Democrat has asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate this product, which is commercialized as STEEM peanut butter.
It appears that on the manufacturer’s website, it is stated that one serving of peanut butter (corresponding to 2 table spoons) has 170 milligrams of caffeine. This concentration is incredibly high, being the equivalent of 2 cups of coffee or 5 cans of Coke.
The controversial food item, which is packaged in 8 ounce jars, is currently sold at around a dozen of small stores and gyms across Connecticut and Massachusetts, and is also available online, at the price of $5.99.
As Schumer has pointed out during a press conference, parents should be in alert given that their kids might be consuming peanut butter and jelly sandwiches which could have their hearts racing, due to excessive amounts of caffeine.
Also, authorities should also be prompted to action, by establishing safety standards regarding the maximum concentration of caffeine to be included in food products. Otherwise, dangerous amounts of caffeine might eventually reach even more popular children’s snacks and candies.
Moreover, warning labels could be added to such snacks, so that customers are made aware of the risks they expose themselves to. Like the politician has explained, excessive quantities of caffeine can cause palpitations, heightened blood pressure, or even more life-threatening symptoms.
In response to allegations made by Senator Schumer, representatives of the company that produces STEEM peanut butter have said that they have no issue with the FDA possibly reviewing their product.
They are convinced that upon analyzing this food item, authorities will convince themselves that it’s completely safe for consumption, as long as users follow directions clearly printed on the jars.
Also, according to creators Keith Barnofski, Chris Pettazzoni and Andrew Brach, STEEM peanut butter isn’t marketed as a product that’s kid-friendly.
Instead, it is targeted towards adults preoccupied with fitness and athletic pursuits, who wish to combine the protein content found in peanuts with the energy spike triggered by caffeine.
Given that peanut butter is digested much more slowly in comparison with coffee, caffeine contained in this item is actually released progressively, not all at once.
In addition, information on the label clearly specifies recommended serving sizes and total caffeine content. STEEM’s website even warns that the product should under no condition be given to pets, because it might cause severe health issues due to the animals’ inability to digest caffeine.
However, if health authorities are of the opinion that further measures should be taken to boost the peanut butter’s safety among consumers, those suggestions will be promptly implemented by manufacturers.
Meanwhile, officials from the FDA have declared that they would issue a response to Schumer’s proposal once it is presented to them in written form.
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