Energy Drinks: US Senators Call For FDA Regulation

Two US senators have called for the FDA to regulate the sale of energy drinks such as Monster and Red Bull, according to USA Today.

Senators Dick Durbin, D-Ill. and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. implored the Food and Drug Administration to close certain loopholes that allow these potentially dangerous drinks from reaching the mouths of consumers. Both Durbin and Blumenthal believe these beverages are addictive due to the high amount of caffeine they reportedly contain.

On Friday, the senators issued a letter citing a Consumer Reports study which claims certain energy drinks contain much more caffeine than the packaging claims. In fact, some beverages don’t list the exact amount of caffeine contained within their curiously-tasting concoctions.

Durbin and Blumenthal’s letter to the FDA illustrates a growing concern about the chemicals found lurking within most energy drinks. Last December, 14-year-old Anais Fournier reportedly went into cardiac arrest after downing two cans of Monster Energy. As a result, the teenager’s mom has filed a lawsuit against the company.

Monster Beverage, meanwhile, maintains that its products are not linked to Fournier’s death. “[The company] does not believe that its beverages are in any way responsible for the death of Ms. Fournier,” a spokesperson explained. The company added that it was currently “unaware of any fatality anywhere that has been caused by its drinks.”

Drug expert Mike Gimbel agrees that energy drinks should be regulated, particularly when it comes to children and teenagers. “The problem is the caffeine level on these drinks keeps getting larger and larger and larger because of the combination of pure caffeine and the herbal supplements. So when you think of say two plus two, it’s two plus 10,” he explained.

The FDA noted that the allegations made against Monster Beverage and its competitors don’t necessarily prove that the drinks are linked to the deaths.

Do you feel that energy drinks should be regulated by the FDA?