UPDATE: FDA says sleepy brownies are unsafe

UPDATE

August 1, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration is warning the makers of melatonin-laced brownies called "Lazy Larry" that it considers them unsafe and could seize the snacks from store shelves.

"Lazy Larry" was until July known as "Lazy Cakes," but the Memphis-based company that makes them, HBB LLC, changed the name after some public officials expressed concern about the brownies. They are sold in many convenience stores.

Last week the FDA sent the company a warning letter, which has
been obtained by The Associated Press.

The FDA says it can seize the brownies if HBB continues to market them. The agency says it does not consider melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle, to be a safe food additive and that the brownies are "adulterated" because they contain the hormone.

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May 26, 2011

There is a new snack that advertises relief if you have trouble relaxing or even sleeping, however some of the ingredients in Lazy Cakes are causing health officials concern.

Although the high sales indicate Lazy Cakes are popular, there have also been reports of people being hospitalized after eating them. The snack makers claim the treat will help you to relax, de-stress and eventually fall asleep.

"These are drugs, you get into supplements, alternative medicines. But when it comes down to it, it's still a chemical and they are drugs put into brownies that are meant to promote sleep," said Dr. Christopher Holstege, of the Blue Ridge Poison Center.

The brownies contain the hormone supplement Melatonin. An appropriate dose is point three milligrams, however the brownies contain eight milligrams, more than twenty times the recommended dose.

Health officials and lawmakers are concerned that the snacks could easily fall into the wrong hands.

"There is nothing on these products to say who should or shouldn't take these products," said Holstege. Melatonin has generated more calls to poison control centers than any other supplement, most involve children.

In Central Virginia there has already been at least one reported case of a child being hospitalized after eating the Lazy Cakes brownie.

Critics says the snack is directly marketed to children. The snack has
colorful packaging and features a cartoon character, Lazy Larry. The cakes are also easy to access, they are sold at multiple convenience stores like 7-Eleven and gas stations.

Some lawmakers have said they want more strict regulations on the snacks. Arkansas has already banned Lazy Cakes


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