WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Food and Drug Administration has confirmed that they are reviewing the safety of energy drinks after repeated requests for an investigation by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) as well as Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). The Senators are concerned about recent reports of deaths associated with products such as Monster energy drinks and 5-hour-energy, and also their potential impact on teens.
"There is very clearly a lack of understanding about the health effects of energy drinks and their ingredients especially on children and adolescents," said Durbin. "I am glad to see that the FDA is undertaking a review but more needs to be done and quickly. For instance, FDA can and should take action now to regulate energy drinks that are marketed as beverages, like Red Bull which has more than the standard of 71 mg of caffeine per 12oz which beverages like Coke and Pepsi are held. I will be calling Commissioner Hamburg for a meeting as soon as possible to review the FDA's plan." Durbin adds he is hopeful that meeting occurs before the end of the year.
After the FDA revealed an investigation into five deaths that occurred following the consumption of Monster energy drinks, Durbin and Blumenthal challenged the FDA to quickly identify and recommend remedies for weaknesses and loopholes in current law they allege are exploited by energy drink manufacturers in order to avoid oversight. They also called on the FDA to investigate the interactions between caffeine and stimulants in energy drinks and to assess the health risks associated with caffeine consumption by children and adolescents. They later called for a meeting with Hamburg after learning the Food and Drug Administration received 13 reports of fatalities following the consumption of 5-Hour Energy.
A copy of the FDA's response can be found here: