Consumer Group Praises Pepsi's Disclosure of Caffeine Content
CSPI Urges Coke and Others to Follow Suit
WASHINGTON--Cans and bottles of Pepsi will now bear an important disclosure-the exact amount of caffeine in each serving. That information on soda containers will help pregnant women, parents, and others concerned about adverse effects of the mildly addictive stimulant drug, which is also found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and other products. Since 1997, the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has been calling on the Food and Drug Administration to require disclosure on food labels of caffeine content. The American Medical Association has done the same. Today CSPI applauded PepsiCo's new practice and called on Coca-Cola and other marketers of caffeine-containing products to follow suit.
"Every company that adds caffeine to food should tell consumers how much they're getting, so consumers can comparison shop and make their decisions accordingly," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. "Pepsi deserves credit for voluntarily putting caffeine contents on labels. I don't know why Coke and coffee companies are so jittery about letting their customers know how much they're getting."
Plain old Pepsi-Cola lists 25 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce serving, so a 20-ounce bottle would have 62.5 mg. Diet Pepsi has 24 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces; Pepsi One and Mountain Dew have more with 36 mg per 8 ounces. Brewed coffee varies, but a 16-ounce cup at Starbucks has around 260 mg, though the company doesn't make that number easy to find.
Coca-Cola doesn't disclose caffeine content on Coke cans, but it does disclose caffeine content-100 milligrams per 12 ounces-on labels of a new green-tea-flavored carbonated drink called Enviga. But because Enviga's labels and marketing materials falsely imply that it results in "negative calories" and promotes weight loss, CSPI has sued Coca-Cola and its partner on Enviga, Nestle, in federal court.