PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Brownies with a substance called melatonin are supposed to make you relax.
The brownies are called “Lazy Cakes,” but the FDA has a problem with them.
KDKA-TV’s David Highfield drove around Wednesday night and could not find any stores that still had them on the shelves.
A clerk at a convenience store in Lawrenceville said they sold out of them a couple of weeks ago.
However, Highfield did find its sister product called “Mary J’s Brownies,” which contain half as much melatonin.
There’s a warning on the Lazy Cakes website that says, “This product may cause extreme relaxation and excessive use of the word ‘dude.’”
The FDA is well aware of the brownies, which are also called Lazy Larry. They have sent a warning letter to its maker explaining that the melatonin in the baked treats is an unsafe food additive.
“Melatonin is sort of a sleep modulator, not necessarily something that makes you drowsy. It regulates sleep and it turns on and off with light and lack of light and so on,” Pittsburgh Poison Control Center Ed Krenzelok said.
The brownies are available for sale online and there is a warning that they are only for adults.
Mary J’s relaxation brownies also have melatonin, but half the amount of Lazy Cakes. However, they are not mentioned in the FDA letter.
While some experts say large doses of melatonin can cause sleepiness and nausea, Krenzelok said he wouldn’t be too concerned even if a child ate one of the brownies.
“My initial reaction would be there’s not much to worry about – if anything to worry about. We’d explain to the parent that it’s possible it could cause drowsiness, but it’s highly unlikely that it will,” Krenzelok said.
Some people are concerned that kids will get a hold of these and eat a bunch of them because they’re chocolate brownies.
There is a warning on the brownie that says “Do not drive or operate heavy machinery after consuming this product.”
A spokesperson for the company said there is no suggestion that the product itself if unsafe, but they are changing their labeling.