Prime Energy Drink: Controversy Surrounding Caffeine Levels Raises Concerns Among Lawmakers and Health Experts

2023-07-09 20:48:49

An energy drink backed by an influencer that has gained popularity among children is facing scrutiny from lawmakers and health experts in the United States over its potential to contain “dangerous” levels of caffeine.

Senator Charles Schumer on Sunday called on the Food and Drug Administration to open an investigation into Prime, a soft drink brand founded by YouTube stars Logan Powell and KSI that has become something of a craze among influencers’ younger crowds.

“One of the symbols of a hot summer for kids is not a costume or a toy, but a drink,” said Schumer, a New York Democrat.

“But buyers and parents be careful because it’s a serious health concern for children who are very targeted,” he added.

Prime caused a stir when it was launched last year, causing long lines in front of grocery stores and schoolyard markets.

Despite itself as a drink without sugar or vegetable fat, the neon-colored cans are among a growing number of energy drinks that contain high levels of caffeine, with each 12-ounce serving containing 200 milligrams, which is equivalent to about 6 cans of Coca-Cola. Or two cans of Red Bull.

This high content has caused the drink to be banned by some schools in the United Kingdom and Australia, where some pediatricians have warned of possible health repercussions for young children such as heart problems, anxiety and digestive problems.

Meanwhile, company representatives defended the product, which was clearly labeled “not recommended for children under 18”.

The company sells a separate sports drink known as Prime Hydration, which does not contain any caffeine.

In his letter to the Food and Drug Administration, Schumer claimed there was little noticeable difference in the online marketing of the two drinks, which led many parents to believe they were buying juice for their children, only to end up in a “cauldron of caffeine”.

“A simple social media search for Prime will yield an astonishing amount of sponsored content, which is ads,” he wrote.

“This content and these allegations should be investigated, as well as the ingredients and caffeine content of Prime Energy Drink,” he concluded.

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