A quartet of senators are concerned about the adverse effect of too much caffeine when consumed by America’s youth and is calling on manufacturers of energy drinks that contain large amounts of the substance to avoid marketing to children.
Jay Rockefeller IV (D-WV), Ed Markey (D-MA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are leading the charge that particularly targets any marketing efforts and the sale of such drinks in schools serving children in grades K-12.
5-Hour Energy, AMP Energy, Arizona Energy, Celsius, Clif Shots, Crunk Energy, Full Throttle, Jamba Energy, Monster Energy, NOS Energy, Red Bull, Rockstar Energy, Sambazon Energy, Street King Energy, Target/Archer Farms Energy Drinks, Venom Energy, and Xenergy all received letters asking about their commitment to protect children from their products.
They were asked:
* Will the company commit to putting restrictions in place for any social media sites that would restrict access for users under the age of 18?
* Will the company restrict any advertising buys or purchases that directly target audiences that are more than 35 percent under the age of 18?
* Will the company commit to not market its energy drinks as sports drinks?
* Will the company agree to label any of its products that include caffeine in excess of the FDA’s approved generally recognized as safe standard for caffeine in cola drinks?
“During the hearing I held recently, leading public health experts raised the alarm about potential harmful health risks of energy drink consumption by children and teens,” said Rockefeller. “Unfortunately, American youth have been barraged by aggressive marketing messages from energy drink industry leaders. I am glad to join Senators Durbin, Blumenthal, and Markey in asking energy drink companies to put the health and safety of our children and teens first by voluntarily committing to common sense limitations on marketing.”
Markey added, “Energy drink makers have been urging customers to consume too much of their products too fast and too young. We need all major energy drink companies to be good corporate actors and agree to these steps to address appropriate marketing and consumption of their products. We need to ensure that kids and parents are protected from the negative health impacts of these products and are not subject to deceptive marketing practices. I urge all energy drink makers to commit to these commonsense and appropriate steps.”