OAN’s Brooke Mallory
4:30 PM – Sunday, July 9, 2023
An influencer-backed energy drink that has gone viral among young people is being scrutinized by politicians and health professionals due to possibly harmful caffeine levels.
On Sunday, Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to look into PRIME, a beverage brand launched by professional wrestlers and YouTube podcasters Logan Paul and KSI that has become somewhat of a craze among the energy drink market.
“One of the summer’s hottest status symbols for kids is not an outfit, or a toy—it’s a beverage,” said Schumer. “But buyer and parents beware because it’s a serious health concern for the kids it so feverishly targets.”
PRIME, backed by two of YouTube’s well-known personalities, reportedly became an instant hit when it debuted last year, provoking lengthy lineups in grocery shops and rumors of school yard resale markets.
The neon-colored cans, which advertise themselves as having zero sugar and vegan, are among a rising variety of energy drinks with extremely high caffeine levels. In PRIME’s case, it contains 200 mg per 12 ounces, which is almost half a dozen Coke cans or nearly two Red Bulls.
Because of the high content of caffeine, several schools in the United Kingdom and Australia have now banned it, and some physicians warn of potential health consequences for young children such as heart difficulties, anxiety, and stomach problems.
Meanwhile, company executives have defended the product, claiming that it is clearly labeled “not recommended for children under the age of 18.” They also sell a different sports drink called PRIME Hydration, which has no caffeine.
However, in his letter to the FDA, Schumer stated that there was no difference in the internet promotion of the two beverages, causing many parents to feel they were buying juice for their children only to end up with a “cauldron of caffeine.”
PRIME representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“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.”
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