Illinois senator investigates energy drink companies

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After asking that energy drink companies do not market to children or sell products in K-12 schools, a group of senators has more requests.

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin has joined three other U.S. Senators in an investigation into the energy drink industry, according to a statement from the office of Dick Durbin. The four lawmakers, on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, sent letters to more than a dozen energy drink companies calling on them to label their products with caffeine amounts and report adverse affects that are associated with the consumption of these drinks to the Food and Drug Administration.

Letters were sent to 17 companies including 5-Hour Energy, Full Throttle, Monster Energy, Red Bull, and more.

In July there was a Senate Commerce hearing where several representatives from the energy drink industry voluntarily agreed to not promote rapid consumption of energy drinks, not promote consumption with alcohol or other drugs, and to not sell or market to K-12 schools.

The letters sent on Wednesday included a request that the companies uphold this agreement.

Durbin said energy drinks are often promoted through social media, and given away at teen-gathering places, such as sporting events, concerts, and SAT prep courses.

“The truth is that contrary to industry claims, energy drink companies are using highly effective tools to reach young people and it’s working,” Durbin said. “It’s time for these companies to heed the advice of public health experts across the country and stop telling children and adolescents to ‘pound down’ their products.”

The letters included questions the senators would like answered in a written response from each company. Their questions included, “Will your company agree that in the future, you will not promote, encourage, or condone rapid or excessive consumption of energy drink products? “

Another questions asks, “Will your company agree not to market your energy drink products in K-12 schools, including at any school-related events or activities?” Both questions ending with, “If so, on what date will that change take effect?”

The senators released a report in April in an effort to back up their concerns with the energy drink industry. That report can be seen – here.

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