Calls to investigate ‘snortable chocolate’

WASHINGTON (NEWS10) – Senator Chuck Schumer is urging the FDA to look into snortable chocolate powder.

Sen. Schumer says Coco Loko is being sold as a way for people to get a euphoric energy rush. The company is marketing the product as a natural relaxation tool and is selling it for $19.99.

The Senator is concerned that the used of caffeine in the product could be harmful.

“I can’t think of a single parent who thinks it is a good idea for their children to be snorting over-the-counter stimulants up their noses,” said Schumer. “This product is like cocaine on training wheels.”

Below is the letter Sen. Schumer sent to the FDA.

Dear Commissioner:

I write to urge the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take immediate action and investigate the use caffeine in inhalable food products. For the past several years, the FDA has worked to better understand caffeine consumption and to determine safe levels for total consumption. Unfortunately, the significant threat associated with inhalable caffeine warrant expedited action.

As you know, when caffeine is consumed in unsafe quantities, a myriad of adverse symptoms accompany intake. Such symptoms include nervousness, increased heart rate and increased blood pressure will contribute to dehydration and exacerbate both heart problems and nerve disorders. According to the FDA, the average adult has an intake of 200 mg of caffeine per day, the amount in two 5-ounce cups of coffee. The FDA reports that a safe amount of daily caffeine for an adult is 4-5 cups of coffee or 400 mg of caffeine. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP),  while caffeine has been shown to enhance physical performance in adults, these effects are extremely variable, dose dependent, and most importantly, have not been thoroughly studied in children and adolescents. The AAP discourages children and adolescents from having any caffeine because of the potentially harmful developmental and addictive effects of the stimulant.

Inhalable caffeine, specifically, has several implications for the health of its intended consumers. According to a recent article released by ABC, doctors warned that inhaling caffeine that is combined with other powdered food could cause concern for individuals with asthma and has serious implications for the lung health in all individuals.

In a 2012 letter to the creator of Aeroshot, the FDA noted several violations that are consistent with current inhalable caffeine products on the market. Inconsistent branding and a lack of evidence regarding the safety of inhalation are noteworthy concerns that must be fully investigated.

Caffeine’s addition to every day foods is a growing trend that could potentially pose health risks to Americans, especially children. Currently, caffeine is generally recognized as safe in soft drinks up to a 0.02 percent, or 200 parts per million. We must do all we can to ensure that our food products do not pose an unknowing risk to children’s health if they consume caffeine in this new, potentially dangerous way.  As the agency responsible for ensuring the safety of food products for Americans, I implore you investigate inhalable caffeine so that we may avoid exposing our families and children to any unnecessary harm.

Sincerely,

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer

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