Beverage industry responds to energy drink accusations

The American Beverage Association (ABA) released a statement responding to a Pediatrics Review article called “Energy Drinks: What teenagers (and their doctors) should know.” ABA says that the paper contains misleading information that fails to distinguish between energy drinks themselves and their use as a mixer in alcoholic beverages. It also disputes claims that caffeine levels are dangerously high in its members’ products. The statement reads, “Contrary to the misperception perpetuated by this paper, most mainstream energy drinks contain only about half the amount of caffeine of a similar size cup of coffeehouse coffee.” ABA says it has adopted the Guidance for the Responsible Labeling and Marketing of Energy Drinks and urges manufacturers to do the same. The Guidance compels companies to display caffeine amounts on packaging with a warning against consumption by children, pregnant or nursing women and persons sensitive to caffeine.