| June 25
June 25 A consumer advocacy group on Wednesday
asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to add a safety
warning on energy drinks because the caffeine-charged beverages
have been linked to 17 deaths since October 2012.
No study has proven that energy drinks directly caused these
deaths, but 34 people died in the United States in the last
decade after drinking 5-Hour Energy, Monster or Rockstar
beverages, according to the Center for Science in the Public
More than 50 people also were hospitalized for high blood
pressure, convulsions and heart attacks after consuming energy
drinks. The drinks, which are especially popular with teens,
typically contain guarana, taurine and caffeine.
"I don't think anybody knows what (these chemicals in energy
drinks) do," said Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of
CSPI, which calculated the numbers using data it obtained from
the FDA. "It's not clear what their risks are."
The FDA said it has been studying the drinks for several
years and is evaluating the deaths. "This does not necessarily
mean that the energy drink caused the death," an FDA
spokesperson said. "Frequently there are other complicating
factors, such as existing disease or medications the person may
have been taking."
Spokespeople for Monster Beverage Corp, Rockstar Energy
Drink and 5-Hour Energy were not immediately available for
"Energy drinks are safe. They meet all the standards
required by the federal regulators," said Christopher
Gindlesperger, a spokesman for the American Beverage
CSPI also asked the FDA to lower the legally allotted amount
of caffeine in energy drinks to 71 milligrams per 12 ounces --
the amount permissible in colas.
In 2005, the group urged the FDA to introduce labels to
sugar-rich drinks warning consumers of obesity. Two years prior,
CSPI succeeded in a 10-year campaign to list data on trans fats
on all Nutrition Facts labels.
(Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin; Editing by Jilian Mincer and