Sen. Charles Schumer called on the Food and Drug Administration to investigate PRIME, a beverage brand founded by the YouTube stars Logan Paul and KSI, and to warn parents about the drink and the high amount of caffeine it contains.
The brand has become very popular among teens and pre-teens, despite a label noting the drink is "not recommended for children under 18." A 12-oz. can of PRIME Energy contains 200 milligrams of caffeine, which is equivalent to about half a dozen Coke cans or nearly two Red Bulls.
"Who is the main target of PRIME? It's kids under 18," Schumer said Sunday.
In addition to PRIME Energy, the company also sells PRIME Hydration, which does not contain caffeine, according to PRIME's website.
The Democratic lawmaker from New York said the company uses social media and advertisers to target children.
"Kids see it on their phones as they scroll, and then they actually have a need for it." Schumer said. "And the problem here is that the product has so much caffeine in it that it puts Red Bull to shame."
Over-consumption of caffeine can cause insomnia, jitters, anxiousness, a fast heart rate, upset stomach, nausea, headache and a feeling of unhappiness, according to the FDA. The administration says healthy adults can consume around 400 milligrams of caffeine a day without experiencing harmful effects, negative effects, but it has no set amount for children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says there is "no proven safe dose of caffeine for children," and that children under 12 should try not to consume caffeine. The group also advises against children and teens consuming any energy drinks and says children ages 12-18 should not have more than 100 mg of caffeine a day.
Some U.S. schools have already banned PRIME. KSI responded to one ban last year on Twitter, writing, "To counter this blatant wrongdoing, we'll be sending a truckload of Prime to this school and many other schools."
In a statement, a PRIME representative told CBS News, "As a brand, our top priority is consumer safety, so we welcome discussions with the FDA or any other organization regarding suggested industry changes they feel are necessary in order to protect consumers."
The representative said PRIME Energy "contains a comparable amount of caffeine to other top selling energy drinks, all falling within the legal limit of the countries it's sold in. It complied with all FDA guidelines before hitting the market and states clearly on packaging, as well as in marketing materials, that it is an energy drink and is not made for anyone under the age of 18."
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