FDA Gives “Lazy Larry” Brownies a Wake Up Call

For those of you who enjoy dozing off after eating the melatonin-laced brownies called “Lazy Larry,” you may soon need to find a new method for relaxation.

The Food and Drug Administration has warned the manufacturer of “Lazy Larry” that the government considers them unsafe and could seize them from store shelves.

The warning letter was sent to the company last week. “Lazy Larry” was until July known as “Lazy Cakes,” but the Memphis-based company that makes them, HBB LLC, changed the name after some lawmakers and public officials expressed concerns about the brownies.

The FDA said that melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that plays a role in sleep regulation, has not been deemed a safe food additive.

Currently, the brownies are sold in convenience stores and online through the company’s website.

The FDA said it can seize the brownies if HBB continues to make and market them. The agency has less authority over melatonin sold in pill form as a dietary supplement because supplements are not as strictly regulated. Under federal law, supplement manufacturers are responsible for making sure their own products are safe.

The FDA cited medical research that showed concerns about potential reproductive, cardiovascular, ocular and neurological issues as side effects of using melatonin as an ingredient in food.

Senator Dick Durbin expressed his concern that the sweet taste of the brownie would cause people to overeat, and consume over the recommended amount of melatonin.

A spokeswoman for HBB said Monday that executives are still reviewing the letter with lawyers and are not yet commenting on the FDA warning.

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