Deaths by energy drinks to be investigated in USA

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 19th November 2012

The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched an investigation into a brand of “energy shots,” reported to be linked to around 13 deaths and a total of 92 reports of illness in the United States.

The FDA has also reported and it is looking into five deaths and one hospitalisation associated with another energy drink brand.

The FDA said there was currently no direct proof that the products are linked to the deaths. The FDA also pointed out it is not responsible for individual regulation of energy products. However, it can take action to advise the companies to remove the products if found to be linked to the reported cases of illness and death. On this basis, the FDA will now commence its investigation.

FDA spokesperson Shelly Burgess said the agency wants to make consumers aware that energy drinks or shots are no substitute for sleep, and should be used with caution. Ms Burgess said that consumers should consult health care professionals prior to consuming energy products, to ensure there are no underlying or undiagnosed medical problems which could be triggered by energy drink consumption.

The FDA investigations follow on-going reports around the world of some energy drinks triggering health issues. Some health or food regulatory enforcement authorities such as the NSWFA in Australia have been pushing for tighter regulation on the energy drink industry.

Australian Food News reported last month that the Australian Beverages Council had issued a call rejecting any tightening of the regulations for energy drinks in Australia.

Australian Beverages Council CEO, Geoff Parker, told Australian Food News that, by contrast to Australia, there is no limit to the amount of caffeine that may be used as an ingredient in energy drinks in America.