Next target of product banning: Energy drinks
CHICAGO — Is it time to start hoarding Red Bull?
Health concerns are prompting proposals to restrict the sale of highly caffeinated energy drinks.
Chicago Alderman Ed Burke last month introduced an ordinance that would ban the sale of energy drinks that contain 180 milligrams of caffeine and two other substances. That would end sales of many 24-ounce energy drinks.
A hearing on Burke's proposal has not been scheduled.
His concern was prompted by a study for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that found the number of emergency room visits involving the drinks rose from about 10,000 in 2007 to more than 20,000 in 2011. The study said energy drinks can cause insomnia, fast heartbeat and seizures.
Other moves focusing on energy drinks, which were an $8.9 billion industry in 2011: The Food and Drug Administration is investigating whether energy drinks were factors in some fatalities. Democratic Sens. Richard Durbin of Illinois and and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut want the department to tighten regulation of the beverages.
A 180-milligram cap on caffeine content in energy drinks took effect in Canada last month. The Mayo Clinic says daily consumption of 200-300 milligrams usually — the equivalent of two to four cups of coffee — usually is not harmful. In the United States, a 16-ounce Rock Star Zero Carb contains 120 milligrams of caffeine.
Burke shrugs off comparisons of his proposed ordinance to the attempt by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to ban the sale of large sugary soft drinks.
“I've heard some of the ‘nanny arguments' being raised,” Burke says. “That's the same thing they argued 20 years ago when I was arguing for a smoking ban.”
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.