Experts Petition FDA to Increase Energy Drink Regulations
A group of one hundred scientists and physicians, led by a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, has sent a petition to the FDA urging the agency to increase energy drink regulations, as the high caffeine drinks could increase the risk of caffeine intoxication and alcohol-related injuries.
In a letter from Dr. Roland Griffiths, of Johns Hopkins, the group petitioned the FDA to require that popular energy drinks like “Red Bull”, “Rock Star”, “Monster” and “Full Throttle”, list their caffeine content on the label together with information about potential side effects that can be caused by consuming too much caffeine.
Currently the FDA does not require warnings or information about the possible health risks of energy drinks. The regulatory agency also does not limit the amount of caffeine in these drinks, many of which are readily available to young adults and children.
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The energy drink market in the United States generated sales of about $5.4 billion in 2006 and is growing at a rate of 55% per year. Red Bull is the highest selling non-alcoholic energy drink, with a caffeine content of 80 mg per 8.3 oz can and $1 billion in worldwide sales. MillerCoors Sparks was the top selling alcoholic caffeinated energy drink, with an alcohol content of 6-7% and a market share of 60% in the U.S.
According to an article in USA Today, the American Beverage Association has opposed the proposed FDA regulation and indicates that consumers who are interested in caffeine content can call the manufacturers’ toll free number or visit their website for the information that is not listed on the product.
The group of scientists and experts believe that warnings and limits are necessary because there is a wide disparity in caffeine and alcohol content in the various brands of energy drinks. For example some non-alcoholic energy drinks, like Monster, Rockstar, Red Bull, Amp, No Fear and Full Throttle, have caffeine content between 75mg and 150mg per can. However, products like Fixx, Wired and BooKoo Energy have drastically higher caffeine content between 300mg and 500mg per can.
Caffeine intoxication can result from drinking too much caffeine, with symptoms like rapid heart rate, anxiety, insomnia, nausea and vomiting, restlessness, tremors and even death, in rare cases. In many cases, multiple energy drinks may be consumed in a short period of time, which may increase the risk of injury.
The non-alcoholic energy drinks also often mixed with alcohol, which can make it harder for people to gauge their level of intoxication, leading to a higher risk of auto accidents and other alcohol related injuries.
AngieNovember 2, 2011 at 12:15 pm
I would like to see an age restriction set on these drinks, like with alcohol. I believe the minimum age should be at least 18 to purchase these drinks or caffeine pills....as it is now my 7 year old could go in and purchase these if I let him.
DorinaDecember 7, 2010 at 7:20 pm
My son's father just died from comsuming Four Loko and mixing with his prescribed anitdepressants. He has left 2 other son's, our son was only 9 months old. Anothy Craig, Jr. worked as a nursing assistant who cared and loved helping others. I would like to see all energy drinks with alcohol banned. I myself a 33 yrs old mother tried a Sparks only 1 and spent the remaining night projectile vomit[Show More]My son's father just died from comsuming Four Loko and mixing with his prescribed anitdepressants. He has left 2 other son's, our son was only 9 months old. Anothy Craig, Jr. worked as a nursing assistant who cared and loved helping others. I would like to see all energy drinks with alcohol banned. I myself a 33 yrs old mother tried a Sparks only 1 and spent the remaining night projectile vomiting. I will never drink these types of drinks again. We have an obligation to our children who have been known to be able to purchase these energy drinks.
nancyApril 7, 2009 at 12:08 am
Can energy drinks cause adverse effects when mixed with a drug like prozac?
LisaMarch 26, 2009 at 4:34 pm
Our son nearly died from the effects of Energy Drinks. His creatine levels were spiking at 960! It's a miracle he lived through his ordeal 4 years ago. It took two weeks for him to come off the "HIGH" he experienced from these drinks. His drink of choice: Monster and Rockstar! I would like to see FDA restrictions on all Energy Drinks. Kids have died from the adverse affects of the drinks!
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