Democrats Investigate Social Media Star

Mobilus In Mobili, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is requesting that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) look into Prime, a well-known energy drink promoted by influencers, because of its high caffeine content and apparent kid-targeted social media marketing campaign. 

During a press conference on Sunday (July 9), Schumer declared that the “hottest status symbols for kids” isn’t an outfit or toy but rather a beverage. 

He warned parents who are buying these drinks “feverishly” targeted toward kids possesses a “serious health concern.”

The Democratic Senator explained that Prime’s excessive caffeine content “puts Red Bull to shame,” but unlike the drink that gives you wings, Prime is deliberately targeting minors. 

The caffeine content of Prime, a beverage created by YouTube sensations Logan Paul and KSI, is nearly equal to two cans of Red Bull at 200 milligrams per 12 ounces. 

However, the company also offers a caffeine-free hydration beverage for sale.

When Prime debuted last year, it immediately became popular and caused huge queues at grocery stores. 

According to reports by the Associated Press, the product also led to “reports of school yard resale markets,” adding that some schools in the UK and Australia prohibited the energy drink for health reasons.

In his letter to the FDA, Schumer urged the agency to look into Prime because of “its claims,” “its kid-targeted marketing,” and “its eye-popping caffeine content,” among other things.

However, representatives for Prime stated that they “welcome discussions with the FDA” regarding consumer safety but emphasized the significance of differentiating between the company’s two products: Prime Hydration, which they described as “a healthier sports drink alternative” in a bottle, and Prime Energy, the canned beverage, which they claimed, “contains a comparable amount of caffeine to other top selling energy drinks.”

Although the energy drink “is not recommended for children under the age of 18,” pregnant or nursing women, and those “sensitive to caffeine,” according to Prime’s website, some doctors have raised concerns that the warning is not deterring kids from drinking it.

During Sunday’s press conference, Edith Bracho, a New York pediatrician, noted that the energy drink had side effects ranging from headaches, “jitters, nervousness,” [and] “It can interfere with the sleep cycle.”