Push for Energy Drink Labeling and Stricter Safety Measures By FDA
Feb 1, 2013
Brunswick, GA (Law Firm Newswire) January 31, 2013 – Two U.S. senators are pushing for the FDA to take a closer look at the safety issues surrounding energy drinks.
In response to a push by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the FDA has announced that it is now conducting a safety review of energy drinks currently on the market and may require labeling to disclose how much caffeine is in each product.
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received more than 13 reports of fatalities in the past four years that could possibly be due to the consumption of energy drinks,” said Brunswick personal injury attorney Nathan Williams. “Energy drinks typically contain large amounts of stimulants, usually in the form of caffeine.”
A recent New York Times report states that there have been 90 filings with the FDA since 2009 which mention 5-Hour Energy; at least 30 cases filed involved serious health issues that may have been caused by the drink, including multiple reports of convulsions and heart attacks, and even one reported miscarriage. It has yet to be determined if the energy drinks were directly responsible for the health issues reported, but the FDA is now taking notice.
Consumer Reports states that a 5-Hour Energy “shot,” consisting of one two-ounce serving, contains approximately 215 milligrams of caffeine. A typical cup of coffee contains between 100 to 150 milligrams of caffeine, depending on how it was prepared.
Categorical issues have led to some inconsistencies on how energy-based drinks are regulated. Drinks with high levels of caffeine, such as Red Bull and Rock Star, are categorized as “beverages,” while drinks such as 5-Hour Energy and Monster Energy are considered “dietary supplements” and are under different regulations.
The distributors of 5-Hour Energy have stated that they believe their product is safe and that they were not aware of any deaths conclusively linked to their product. The makers of Monster Energy have also stated that their product is safe and is not the cause of any known health problems.
The FDA’s director of dietary supplement programs, Daniel Fabricant, has stated that the agency is now investigating reports of fatalities linked to 5-Hour Energy. Producers of dietary supplements, such as 5-Hour Energy, have been required since 2008 to notify the FDA of any known incidents of injury or death involving their products.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration logged more than 12,000 emergency room visits attributed to reactions to energy drinks in 2009.
Nathan Williams is a Brunswick personal injury lawyer, Brunswick divorce attorney, Brunswick criminal defense attorney and Brunswick DUI lawyer in Southeast Georgia. Visit http://www.thewilliamslitigationgroup.com or call 1.912.264.0848.
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