The Conversation

Hide the Redbull: Tobacco Senators Come after Energy Drinks

The government is coming for your energy drinks.  Senators Durbin (D-IL), Markey (D-MA) and Blumenthal (D-CT) recently "grilled" the executives from the the energy drink industry about "selling an unhealthy product and an unsafe message to young people."

All three are veteran nanny-staters you might remember from the tobacco war. "Over the years, they have sponsored legislation to ban smoking on airplanes, led efforts to remove depictions of tobacco use in films and successfully sued the tobacco industry for misleading the public about the dangers of smoking."

The nanny-state trio has called on the FDA to investigate the the safety of energy drinks and are turning their regulating eyes on the marketing of energy drinks. 

At a recent hearing, Markey displayed photos from energy drink companies' Facebook pages that showed children posing with cans of their products at public events. He recalled the efforts of the tobacco industry to attract young smokers to replace older customers who were dying off.

The interest in energy drink regulation started when a 14 year-old Maryland teenager died after consuming 2 twenty-four ounce cans of Monster energy drinks. The teen had a malfunctioning heart valve.  The two drinks contained 480 milligrams of caffeine which is equal to 14 cans of soda and five times the recommended allowance for adolescents. 

Energy drink executives said their target market was men between the ages of 18-35 and that they were not trying to target kids. 

Below is a clip from the movie Role Models (one of my favorites) for MINOTAUR: TASTE THE BEAST energy drink. I bet the Senators saw this and didn't realize the movie is a comedy. 


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