Naturally there’s a petition demanding greater FDA regulation of caffeinated beverages, but as of 9:30 a.m. ET today, it had attracted just 53 signatures.
Sen. Durbin’s push to investigate turbo charged drinks like Red Bull, Monster Energy, and Rockstar follows the December death of a 14-year-old girl who consumed toxic levels of caffeine.
In his letter to the FDA, Durbin writes:
I am calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take regulatory action to address the rising health concerns around energy drinks.
Energy drinks with names like Monster Energy, Red Bull, Rockstar, Full Throttle, and AMP are now common fixtures in grocery stores, vending machines, and convenience stores. These products target young people claiming to increase attention, stamina, performance, and weight loss. The website for Monster Energy Drink claims to deliver “twice the buzz of a regular energy drink…and the big bad buzz you know and love.” Rockstar Energy Drink claims “to provide an incredible energy boost for those who lead active and exhausting lifestyles.” The glossy marketing tailored to youth has worked – 30 to 50 percent of adolescents report consuming energy drinks.
While parents should certainly be aware of the dangers of caffeine toxicity, the chorus of “There oughta be a law!” every time a tragedy occurs is tiresome.
We’re sure amped up energy drink lovers will want to tweet Durbin their most stimulating thoughts on the matter. You can reach him on Twitter at @SenatorDurbin.
Update: Fans of energy drinks (and freedom) are not amused by Durbin’s latest crusade.