Instead of your name or a clever saying appearing on the side of your coffee mug, some people would rather see a huge government warning.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) now thinks products containing caffeine should be labeled for content. They have asked the Food and Drug Administration to conduct a thorough review of the health effects of caffeine, which could lead to warning labels similar to those slapped on cigarette and alcohol packages.
CSPI says it is worried over studies which attempt to show ingesting huge amounts of caffeine can cause birth defects. However, toxicologist David Hattan of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition says that such defects result only from “whopping” single doses of caffeine. Even when the same massive doses of caffeine were spread out over the course of a day, there were no defects, he found.
This irrational fear of caffeine has even spread to the influential New York Times. The Times recently ran an article about the popularity of coffee among teens, quoting a Mayo Clinic physician concerned about possible calcium loss among teens who drink coffee. However, the same story admitted that studies about calcium loss have been inconclusive.