by Max Brantley
The department announced that it has recalled "Lazy Cakes "because the product contains melatonin, a substance not approved for general food use. The department said it was sold in food stores, particularly convenience stores, and readily accessible to children though potential side effects from the hormone are not known.
The New York Times wrote extensively earlier this week about these "laid-back and legal" products. Lazy Cakes isn't the only version on the market. Kush Cakes and Lulla Pies are other varieties of melatonin-stoked goods. They are available on-line as well as in stores. Melatonin pills, often touted as a cure to jet lag, are readily available over the counter.
Although the Food and Drug Administration has not approved melatonin as a food additive or deemed it safe, the dessert makers are marketing their products as a harmless way to promote relaxation. And the snacks are increasingly being endorsed by fans on Facebook and Twitter as an antidote to stress and sleep deprivation.
... But these snacks contain roughly 8 milligrams of melatonin per brownie or cookie, so selling them is similar to a parent serving an unsuspecting child applesauce containing a crushed aspirin tablet to make it go down easier. “It’s making it much more difficult for the consumer to recognize that they are taking a drug,” said Dr. Charles A. Czeisler, the chief of the division of sleep medicine at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Makers of the cakes label them as not being for food use. But the labeling isn't prominent, critics say. Melatonin can affect the performance of some prescription drugs, scientists say.
The Arkansas Department of Health Recalls “Lazy Cakes” Snack Food Because of Possible Health Risk
(Little Rock)—The Arkansas Department of Health is RECALLING all “Lazy Cakes” because the product contains melatonin which has not been approved for general food use. The ADH is prohibiting the sale of this product in Arkansas and will be working with food vendors to recall “Lazy Cakes.”
Melatonin is a well-known dietary supplement used for the treatment of sleeping disorders. Melatonin is not intended or approved to be used in food products. Metabolism and potential side effects associated with taking this hormone have not been fully determined.
ADH believes to this product poses a potential health risk to consumers, especially young children. The ADH has received complaints about this product being sold in food stores (mainly convenience stores) without prominent labeling and easily accessible to children.
Lazy Cakes was distributed to retail stores throughout the state.
Consumers should discard the product.
The cakes (brownies) are individually wrapped with purple packaging featuring Lazy Larry, a cartoonish brownie with a big grin on its face.