An energy drink backed by YouTube star Logan Paul could face investigation over its potentially dangerous levels of caffeine.
PRIME, a beverage brand founded by Paul his partner KSI, has gained popularity among their audiences, which are primarily comprised of children and teens. After its launch last year, images went viral of lines at grocery stores, as well as accounts of resales among schoolchildren skyrocketing.
However, politicians and health experts alike are warning that the drink could be detrimental to the wellbeing of underage people.
While it is marketed as being zero sugar and vegan, PRIME contains 200 milligrams of caffeine in every 12 ounces, which is equivalent to six cans of Coke, or two Red Bulls. Some schools in the United Kingdom and Australia have banned the drink, with pediatricians warning of adverse impacts in youth, including heart problems, anxiety, and digestive issues.
On Sunday, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer urged the Food and Drug Administration to investigate the drink. In a letter to the organization, obtained by NBC, he said that PRIME deceptively markets itself as a drink similar to juice, when it is actually a “cauldron of caffeine."
“One of the summer’s hottest status symbols for kids is not an outfit, or a toy — it’s a beverage,” Schumer said. “But buyer and parents beware because it’s a serious health concern for the kids it so feverishly targets.”
The product is labelled as “not recommended for children under 18," and the company also offers a caffeine-free drink, known as PRIME Hydration. However, Schumer noted that there is little difference in the marketing of the two drinks, which largely target Paul's underage audiences.
“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.”