U.S. FDA asked to probe Prime energy drink created by Logan Paul, KSI

Click to play video: 'Prime energy drink: Schumer asks U.S. FDA to investigate, calls it a ‘cauldron of caffeine’'
Prime energy drink: Schumer asks U.S. FDA to investigate, calls it a ‘cauldron of caffeine’
WATCH: U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer is calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to investigate Prime, the wildly popular energy drink created by YouTube stars Logan Paul and KSI. Mike Armstrong explains why the beverage's contents and marketing are under scrutiny; and what people are being urged to do if they spot the drink being sold in Canada. – Jul 10, 2023

Prime, an energy drink brand created by YouTube stars Logan Paul and KSI, might soon be under investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling on the agency to start a probe into the company’s marketing and its caffeine levels. Schumer says Prime has become an in-demand drink for children and teenagers, but cautioned the product carries more caffeine than many other drinks with the stimulant.

“(It) has more caffeine than a cup of coffee, more caffeine than a can of Coke, more caffeine than even a Red Bull,” he told reporters at a news conference on Sunday.

Click to play video: 'Kids and youth should avoid sports and energy drinks, Canadian Paediatric Society warns'
Kids and youth should avoid sports and energy drinks, Canadian Paediatric Society warns

In a statement to Global News, an FDA official said the agency was reviewing concerns made in Schumer’s letter and would respond directly to the senator.

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The drink does have a label advising it is not recommended for those under 18, but Schumer claimed the advertising campaign used is targeted at that age group.

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According to the company’s product information on its website, a single 12-ounce can of the drink contains 200 milligrams (mg) of caffeine — the equivalent of half a dozen cans of Coke or nearly two Red Bulls.

A typical cup of coffee brewed at home has approximately 120 to 180 mg of caffeine.

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Monster Energy recalls one of its energy drinks

The drink was first launched in the U.K., where it was then banned by some schools following concerns over health impacts. Pediatricians there warned youth who consumed it could experience heart problems, anxiety, and digestive issues.

The FDA generally advises that about 400 mg of caffeine a day for an adult is “not generally associated with dangerous, negative effects.” However, the agency warns that people can have different sensitivities to the effects and speed at which they can metabolize caffeine.

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While the FDA has not set a limit for the amount of caffeine those under the age of 18 can consume, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against caffeine consumption by youths.

Backed by two of YouTube’s best known stars, Prime was an immediate sensation when it launched last year, prompting long lines in grocery stores and reports of schoolyard resale markets.

“As a brand, our top priority is consumer safety, so we welcome discussions with the FDA or any other organization regarding suggested industry changes they feel are necessary in order to protect consumers,” spokesperson Alyx Sealy said in a statement to Global News.

Sealy also noted the company sells a separate sports drink, Prime Hydration, which contains no caffeine at all.

Click to play video: 'Energy drinks affect heart activity'
Energy drinks affect heart activity

But in his letter to the FDA, Schumer claimed there was little noticeable difference in the online marketing of the two drinks, leading many parents to believe they were purchasing a juice for their kids, only to wind up with a “cauldron of caffeine.”

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“A simple search on social media for Prime will generate an eye-popping amount of sponsored content, which is advertising,” he wrote. “This content and the claims made should be investigated, along with the ingredients and the caffeine content in the Prime energy drink.”

— with files from The Associated Press

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