FDA’s investigation into safety of caffeine for children, adolescents praised by S.F. City Attorney
Federal regulators’ announcement comes days after Monster Energy sued to halt Dennis Herrera’s probe into marketing of potentially unsafe products to children
The announcement by federal regulators comes just four days after Monster Beverage Corporation (NASDAQ: MNST) filed a virtually unprecedented lawsuit against
The FDA’s investigation into the safety of caffeine added in food and beverage products marketed to children and adolescents won high praise from Herrera.
“I applaud the FDA for its leadership in recognizing the need to address the health risks posed by highly caffeinated energy drinks and similar products, particularly for young people,” said Herrera. “I was proud to join with 18 nationally-recognized scientists and public health experts in March to urge the FDA to take action, and I am grateful to them for launching an investigation that acknowledges how aggressively energy drinks are being marketed to youth.”
In announcing the federal investigation this morning, FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael R. Taylor noted that the “proliferation of these products in the marketplace is very disturbing to us.”
“Our concern is about caffeine appearing in a range of new products, including ones that may be attractive and readily available to children and adolescents, without careful consideration of their cumulative impact,” said Taylor. “[W]e hope this can be a turning point for all to prevent the irresponsible addition of caffeine to food and beverages. Together, we should be immediately looking at what voluntary restraint can be used by industry as FDA gets the right regulatory boundaries and conditions in place.”
The scientists’ letter to the FDA cited findings by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Nutrition and the Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness, which concluded that “rigorous review and analysis of the literature reveal that caffeine and other stimulant substances contained in energy drinks have no place in the diet of children and adolescents.” The pediatricians also agreed that energy drinks “are not appropriate for children and adolescents and should never be consumed.”
Herrera’s Consumer Protection Unit launched an investigation into business and marketing practices of the
The pending federal lawsuit is: Monster Beverage Corporation v.
The FDA’s announcement is available at: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm350570.htm