Three congressmen on Wednesday, April 10, released an analysis of the energy drink market, calling for manufacturers to identify caffeine levels on packaging, post warnings on highly caffeinated beverages, stop marketing to youth and report adverse events associated with their products.
Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the report titled “What’s all the BUZZ about?” Durbin has led an effort to mandate strict guidelines for energy drinks and dietary supplements including plans to reintroduce the Dietary Supplement Labeling Act.
The three came together to examine 14 energy drink brands, including natural beverage brand Sambazon, which requested to be removed from the investigation.Their report findings conclude that:
- Inconsistent marketing, labeling and ingredient disclosure requirements lead to nearly identical drinks being marketed to consumers differently, leading to confusion and a lack of transparency.
- Caffeine levels are not uniformly represented on labels and often exceed safe levels recognized by the FDA.
- Companies target adolescents with marketing practices and product design.
- They often make unevaluated functional claims.
- And additional specialty ingredients further complicate safety considerations.
The congressmen fall short of suggesting legislation, instead saying: "We call on all manufacturers of energy drink products, whether they are marketed as dietary supplements or conventional foods (beverages) to take the following steps to improve transparency and representation of its products and ensure that children and teens are adequately protected from deceptive advertising practices."