- The FDA has sent a letter to the makers of STEEM, caffeinated peanut butter, seeking more information about how the makers use caffeine in their product. The agency needs this information to determine whether the caffeinated peanut butter can be sold based on meeting applicable scientific and legal standards required in the U.S.
- The FDA said that it is "concerned about the marketing of a peanut butter, a food popular with many children, containing added caffeine."
- Concerns surround the increasing number of caffeinated products flooding the market and the possible risks of consuming multiple caffeinated products simultaneously, especially when those products appeal to children.
While STEEM has announced plans to "behave responsibly" in media reports, the FDA says it has not received any information from STEEM regarding whether the use of caffeine in its peanut butter product is safe.
Last month, Sen. Charles Schumer requested an FDA investigation of STEEM, arguing that a single serving contains five times the caffeine of a can of Coke, which is a potential health risk, especially for children. In the past, Schumer has also called out caffeinated alcoholic beverages and powdered caffeine, and in both instances, the FDA responded by sending warning letters to companies.
STEEM's label states that the product contains "natural" peanut butter, made with peanuts and salt, organic agave nectar, peanut oil, and natural caffeine extracted from green coffee. Each jar contains 1,200 mg of caffeine, and one serving equates to approximately 150 mg of caffeine, or about two cups of coffee, "so stick with the normal serving suggestions for the best effect," the makers say on their website.