PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A warning for parents about special brownies sold in some stores and on the internet. Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl is On Your Side with more.
The Food and Drug Administration is warning a manufacturer of melatonin-laced brownies that the government considers them unsafe and could seize them from store shelves.
They’re called Lazy Cakes or Lazy Larry. Brownies designed to relieve stress and make you relax.
“Pretty much do what they say. It’s sold as a pot brownie, but I wouldn’t really consider it as a pot brownie,” said Kenny Gilliam, a Head Shop Owner.
These sleepy time treats are legal and contain no marijuana, or illegal drugs. The maker claims they’re packed with the supplement melatonin, a hormone that can help regulate the sleep cycle, and other natural ingredients.
Dr. Michelle Lynch, a Pediatrician, is concerned that the brownies are targeted toward children.
“It looks cool. It looks fun. It looks harmless. You can buy it at the store so it must be okay. I think that’s the irresponsibility,” said Dr. Lynch.
The FDA recently sent a warning letter to the maker saying it can seize the brownies if they continue to make and market them. The agency says melatonin is not a safe food additive.
Dr. Lynch says melatonin in correct dosages is safe for adults, but not always for children.
“If a teenager thinks one is good, then two or three may be better. And I think that is where the danger comes in, not understanding the real effect that this substance can have,” said Dr. Lynch.
She says studies on high doses of melatonin in children do not exist, so no one knows what effects it can have. But she worries about the effects on the central nervous system, or CNS.
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“Potentially cause CNS depression meaning the child could have trouble breathing, and have to be hospitalized or even worse,” said Dr. Lynch.
The Lazy Cake packages do say for adults only, not suitable for children. But Dr. Lynch worries that if the melatonin-laced brownies are left out at home a child may be able to get their hands on it.
We reached out to the maker of the brownies, but they did not comment.
Reported by Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3