April 17, 2012 – In a letter sent to FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg earlier this month, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) asked the administration to increase its enforcement efforts against highly-caffeinated energy drinks. Durbin maintains that these products pose very real health risks, citing the 10-fold increase in energy-drink related emergency room visits between 2005 and 2009. Side effects commonly associated with energy drinks include dizziness, irritability, nausea, nervousness, heart problems, and severe allergic reactions.
Energy Drink Update 1/22/13: Around the country, hospital emergency rooms are reporting staggering numbers of visits related to trendy energy drinks like Red Bull, Rockstar, Monster, and 5-Hour Energy. The number of ER admissions involving the controversial beverages doubled between 2007 and 2011, according to a new report issued by the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN). Click here to learn more.
Free Energy Drink Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury you feel may have been caused by an energy drink, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of the energy drink and we can help.
What’s the problem?
According to current FDA regulations, caffeine is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) for use in soft drink-type beverages at levels up to .02%, or about 71mg per 12oz serving. Sen. Durbin’s letter claims that many energy drinks contain more than 160mg per 16oz. serving, not counting the caffeine from other substances such as guarana. The letter goes on to state that because of “glossy marketing tailored to youth,” the popularity of energy drinks has exploded among adolescent populations.
Additionally, Sen. Durbin is requesting that federal health regulators:
- take a closer look at the slew of energy drinks on the market to determine whether the beverages are properly categorized as dietary supplements;
- enforce the FDA’s regulatory limit on caffeine levels in beverages that are not dietary supplements, and;
- address any potential safety concern posed by ingredients other than caffeine (such as guarana and ginseng).
Durbin’s letter ultimately focuses on the issue of marketing energy drinks, both in terms of its influence on young consumers as well as its impact on the regulatory status of the beverages. In its recent actions against caffeinated alcoholic beverages and breathable foods, the FDA scrutinized the marketing efforts of companies selling those products. As of this writing, the administration has yet to respond to Durbin’s letter.
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Free Energy Drink Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has suffered a severe injury you feel may have been caused by an energy drink, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing an energy drink injury suit and we can help.