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Monday, June 30, 2014

Consumer Advocacy Group Wants Energy Drink Warning Labels

After a number of deaths, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a consumer advocacy group, is urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require the makers of energy drinks to put safety warnings on their products, according to Reuters. Energy drinks are extremely popular amongst teenagers and young adults, who often misuse the products, having several in one day and or mixing alcohol into the equation.

While energy drinks have high levels of caffeine, as well as several other stimulant -like ingredients, the group points out that no study has proven that energy drinks caused the 17 deaths in the last two years despite the fact that those who died had consumed energy drinks of one brand or another. CSPI would like the FDA to reduce the amount of caffeine legally allowed in energy drinks and require warning labels informing consumers of the risk of heart attack, convulsion, and other adverse reactions.

In the last 10 years, 34 people have died after consuming Monster, Rockstar or 5-Hour Energy. “This does not necessarily mean that the energy drink caused the death. Frequently there are other complicating factors, such as existing disease or medications the person may have been taking,” an FDA spokesperson told Reuters.

“How many deaths will it take to get the FDA to protect consumers from energy drinks, with their high levels of caffeine and untested herbal and chemical ingredients?” CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson said in a news release. “Since the first batch of adverse event reports became public, the death count has essentially doubled, with dozens more injured. Yet the FDA is just standing by—no public warnings, no regulations, no testing required—nothing.”

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