Schumer calls for probe of caffeninated peanut butter

Sen. Charles Schumer is trying to keep the lid closed on a new caffeinated peanut butter.

Schumer called on the Food and Drug Administration Sunday to investigate STEEM peanut butter, which boasts on its website that a single serving can have as much caffeine as two cups of coffee. The spread is available at a dozen stores throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut and online in 8 ounce jars for $5.99.

“Parents shouldn’t have to worry about their child biting into a peanut putter and jelly sandwich that contains more caffeine than a cup of Joe,” Schumer said during a news conference.

“To think that peanut butter, one of the snacks most closely associated with children, might have to be stored in the medicine cabinet as opposed to the kitchen cabinet should serve as a real wake-up call to the FDA,” Schumer added . He said he wants the agency to create rules for all food products with added caffeine to define a safe limit for someone to consume.

In an email, STEEM’s creators said it welcomed the FDA and Schumer to review their product “so they can see that STEEM is perfectly safe when used as directed.”

“We are only marketed towards adults, and our label reflects suggested serving size, caffeine content, and our recommendations for safe use,” creators Chris Pettazzoni, Keith Barnofski and Andrew Brach wrote. “If there are other obligations that we have to make STEEM more safe, we will gladly comply.”

A spokeswoman for the FDA said it would respond to Schumer once it received his letter.

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