FDA Discusses Energy Drinks with Top Senators


Senators Durbin and Blumenthal finally got their meeting with FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg.


FDA’s interest in energy drinks is really starting to ramp up. Last month, the agency listed on its website all adverse event reports linked to leading energy drink brands since 2004. Now, we have a meeting between FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Dick Durbin (D-IL).

A joint statement released last Thursday by the two senators indicates that, during their meeting with Hamburg, they urged FDA to convene an expert panel on caffeine and stimulant consumption no later than early next year. Blumenthal and Durbin would want such a panel to focus on potential health effects from child and adolescent consumption of caffeine and other stimulants found in energy drinks, and potential interactions between these stimulants.

Labeling is another area of concern, as the senators’ joint statement says they’ve requested that FDA take swift action regarding findings that some major energy drink brands may contain more than 20% their stated caffeine levels. The statistic likely came from this Consumer Reports investigation on 27 leading energy drink products.

Senators Blumenthal and Durbin are reportedly confident that FDA is taking energy drink concerns seriously.

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