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Pregnancy: Caffeine

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 175846, tabled on 25 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the findings of the recent study by the University of Rochester that caffeine consumed during pregnancy can alter the structure of an unborn baby's brain; and whether his Department has plans to undertake further research on the effects of caffeine consumption during pregnancy.

Answered on

13 April 2021

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) keeps under review the evolving body of credible scientific evidence on the safety of food including caffeine and advises the Government if any action is needed.

The Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) is an independent scientific committee that provides advice to the Food Standards Agency on matters concerning the toxicity of chemicals. Current Government advice on caffeine consumption during pregnancy is based on the COT evaluation of the evidence. The COT is currently undergoing a review of various chemicals in relation to maternal health during pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes. Caffeine will be reviewed as part of this work.

Therefore, the FSA does not consider that any action in relation to the safety of caffeine is needed at the present time.