Energy Drink Industry Defends Itself in the Senate

Executives from energy drink companies take on Capitol Hill

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Rising concern over the caffeine in energy drinks has been taken into account by not only the American Medical Assocation, who last month called for a ban on selling caffeine-laden drinks to children and teenagers, but the Senate as well.

On Wednesday, the giants of the energy drink industry took on Capitol Hill together in order to protest against claims that their products are dangerous to the health of young people. Red Bull, Rockstar, and Monster Beverage, all big names in the industry, argued that their products are not aimed at the younger generation.

The senior executives of the energy drink companies backed themselves up, citing several factors. Monster Beverage’s representative, Rodney Sacks, compared a 16-ounce can of Monster Energy to a similar-sized cup of Starbucks coffee, claiming the coffee had more caffeine than the energy drink. Sacks also specified that Monster’s main demographic is young, adult males, not children. On the other hand, Amy Taylor, the vice president of Red Bull North America, reiterated that while Red Bull is aimed at adults, the caffeine will now be limited to 80 milligrams per 8.4 ounces. As for Rockstar, the brand intends to remove any posts from social media sites that “encourage unhealthy consumption of energy drinks.”

Poison control centers have received thousands of calls this year alone relating to issues involving these caffeinated products, and numerous deaths over the years have been attributed to consumption of energy drinks. How will the tycoons of the energy drink business deal with the consequences if this continues to happen?

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