Food Safety
TECH FLASH

Caffeine stirs up Congressmen

Lawmakers have asked more than a dozen energy drink companies to explain their products. Are energy drinks food or nutraceuticals?

January 28, 2013
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

Caffeine stirs up Congressmen

Three lawmakers have called on more than a dozen energy drink manufacturers to explain the rationale for making their energy drinks and to provide data about their ingredients and claims in marketing campaigns. The letters were sent by Reps. Ed Markey (MA), Dick Durbin (IL) and Richard Blumenthal (CT).

The letters were sent to companies including Living Essentials, LLC; Red Bull; PepsiCo; and Monster, following previous letters sent by the Congressmen to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and FDA. Investigations continue concerning the safety of these products, the disclosure of ingredients and the marketing of energy drinks.

The energy drink industry has come under scrutiny after a recent FDA release of several reports of deaths and injuries in which the drinks were mentioned—and among new data showing a rise in emergency room visits for complications related to energy drinks. For example, a new survey of hospitals shows that from 2007 to 2011, ER visits related to the consumption of this class of products doubled from 10,000 to 20,000.

“As new products and new patterns of energy drink use are emerging, we are working closely with the FDA to strengthen our understanding of the potential health impact of these products,” says Senator Dick Durbin, who first called for FDA to investigate energy drinks in April 2012 following the death of 14 year-old Anais Fournier.  “Energy drink companies can partner in our effort by being forthcoming about the ingredients in their products and the processes they use to determine those ingredients are safe.”

“There is very clearly a lack of understanding about the health effects of energy drinks and their ingredients especially on children and adolescents,” says Senator Richard Blumenthal, who has also been investigating energy drinks and FDA oversight. “Energy drink makers are mistaken if they believe they have escaped regulatory oversight to safeguard consumer health.”

The letters to the energy drink companies ask the manufacturers to answer whether they believe their products are conventional food products or dietary supplements because the two classes of products are regulated differently by FDA. The letters also ask for the ingredients and amounts of stimulants, as well as studies that back up health or other claims made in the marketing of these products.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

Recent Articles by Wayne Labs, Senior Technical Editor

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2014

Blue Diamond Growers was chosen as Food Engineering's 2014 Plant of the Year. The Sacramento-based company is the world’s largest producer of almonds and almond ingredients.

Podcasts

Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering December 2014 Cover

2014 December

In the December 2014 issue of Food Engineering read about our Fabulous Food Plant feature on the Chelten House, a new facility in Las Vegas.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

FSMA Audit

What is the is most important step you have taken to become ready for a FSMA audit?
View Results Poll Archive

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.