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FDA Reviews Safety of Energy Drinks

January 8, 2013

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that the agency is conducting a safety review of energy drinks and is considering requiring that labels disclose the amount of caffeine the products pack, limitations on use, and warnings about possible adverse effects.

This review follows reports of harmful reactions and even deaths possibly associated with the products. Two U.S. senators recently released a letter from the FDA outlining the agencies actions and findings:

  • FDA is probing whether energy drinks may pose significant risks arising from direct toxic effects when consumed in excess or by vulnerable groups, including young people and those with pre-existing cardiac or other conditions.
  • FDA has yet to identify any safety studies that call into question the safety of combinations of various ingredients in energy drinks. However, it said that additive or synergistic effects of certain ingredients could be of concern.
  • FDA disclosed that an in-depth analysis of caffeine consumption in the U.S. completed in August 2010 found that on average about 300 mg of caffeine, per person, per day is consumed. That's within the 400 mg per day limit that FDA has said is not associated with adverse effects in healthy adults.
  • FDA will consult with health profession groups about whether it is advisable for children and pregnant women to limit their caffeine consumption.

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