By Laura Sanicola
(Reuters) -U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Sunday called on regulators to investigate a popular influencer-created energy drink with nearly twice the caffeine of a Red Bull, saying it was being marketed to children.
Schumer said Prime, a beverage brand started last year by YouTube stars Logan Paul and KSI, should be investigated by the Food and Drug Administration due to the high caffeine content of its Prime Energy drink.
“Buyer and parents beware, because it’s a serious health concern for the kids it so feverishly targets,” the Democratic senator said at a news conference in New York.
Prime Energy contains 200 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounces, equal to six cans of Coca-Cola or nearly two Red Bulls.
“This is an eye-popping level of caffeine for a young kid’s body,” Schumer said.
According to a warning on the company’s website, Prime Energy is not recommended for children under the age of 18, women who are pregnant or nursing, or individuals who are sensitive to caffeine.
Prime also sells a non-caffeinated hydration drink in similar packaging.
The company wrote in a statement to Reuters that Prime Energy complied with FDA guidelines before the product hit the market, and that its warning labels are on the company’s packaging and marketing.
“We welcome discussions with the FDA or any other organization regarding suggested industry changes they feel are necessary in order to protect consumers,” the statement said.
Schumer said the packaging and marketing of the two drinks were so similar that parents were unknowingly buying the highly caffeinated energy drinks for their children.
“Because the product is billed as a hydration and sports drink in its other, near-identical form, kids are likely to ingest cans of this stuff with the parents being unaware,” he said.
(Reporting by Laura Sanicola; Editing by Diane Craft and Jonathan Oatis)
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