Following reports that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received a total of 18 adverse event reports of fatalities following the consumption of 5-Hour Energy and Monster energy drink, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called for a meeting with the FDA Commissioner, Margaret Hamburg, to discuss the steps the agency is taking to ensure the safety of these products.
“Over the past year, there has been alarming evidence that energy drinks pose a potential threat to the public’s health,” wrote the Senators in the letter to Hamburg. “We request a meeting with you on the steps FDA is taking regarding highly caffeinated energy drinks and to ensure they are safe for their intended use and in combination with other energy drink ingredients.”
In October, Durbin and Blumenthal challenged the FDA to quickly identify and recommend remedies for what they called weaknesses and loopholes in current law that are exploited by energy drink manufacturers in order to avoid oversight and offer products containing additives and high levels of caffeine that have not been proven safe. Durbin and Blumenthal 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. This is the third time that they have made such a request.