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Lazy Lary: Sleep treat staying on shelves for now

Convenience store owner Tomas Rodriquez isn’t taking Lazy Larryrelaxation brownies off his shelves until the Food and DrugAdministration makes him.

Convenience store owner Tomas Rodriquez isn’t taking Lazy Larry relaxation brownies off his shelves until the Food and Drug Administration makes him.

“We are allowed to sell it ... as long as they are legal I will keep them,” said Rodriquez, owner of Montrose Spa in Cambridge.

The FDA announced Monday that the makers of the brownies, a treat marketed as a chilled-out mood enhancer, violates the agency’s regulations by using melatonin as an unapproved food additive.

Lazy Larry laces its cakes with the drug, promising to help consumers “wind down” and relax.

In a letter sent to the Tennessee-based maker, the FDA said they can seize the product from stores if the recipe doesn’t change.

The company, HBB LLC, has 15 days to respond to the letter.

But Rodriquez said he sells as many as 36 individually wrapped cakes to college students each week at his store near Harvard Law School and the chocolate-y treats would stay on his shelves until the FDA issues definite restrictions.

Comparing them to alcohol and 5-Hour Energy Drinks, he said if it’s not against the law he doesn’t see a problem.

“It’s like everything else, they have a warning on the label,” said Rodriquez.

Other Hub shops already banned the brownies for fear of a lawsuit, however.

Tony Massari, owner of Boston Common Coffee, said he heard tales of people giving the sleep-inducing munchies to kids, causing them to get sick.

“I didn’t want to open myself up to issues down the road,” he said.

Owner of Lazy Larry, Terry Harris, said in an e-mail that the company is taking immediate steps to address concerns expressed by the FDA, “all of which stem from the way the product is packaged, labeled and marketed.”

However, the FDA said the food additive is the major issue.

Follow Steve Annera on Twitter @steveannear.

 
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