French consumers urged to report energy drink adverse events

Food safety authorities in France have called on consumers to let doctors know about any adverse events associated with energy drink use.

August 15, 2012

1 Min Read
French consumers urged to report energy drink adverse events

After recording several adverse event reports through its nutritional vigilance program, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) has called for consumers to notify their doctor or other health professional of any adverse effects associated with energy drink use. Among the adverse reports ANSES has fielded were two fatalities. Citing its own study, which is still in progress and due out in Fall 2013, the agency reported a marked rise in consumption of energy drinks during sporting activities, noting "27 percent of consumers under 35 consume energy drinks in conjunction with alcohol at least occasionally."  

ANSES said there is no regulatory framework for the term "energy drinks," products that typically includes ingredients that stimulate or energize, including taurine, caffeine, ginseng and guarana. It warned consumption of these drinks in conjunction with sporting activities or alcohol may be associated with increased risk of cardiovascular problems, due to the physical exertion or impaired perception, respectively. Beyond these kinds of use, the agency cautioned against consumption by children and pregnant women, and recommended all consumers use these drinks in moderation.

In addition to asking consumers to report adverse events to their healthcare providers, the agency is asking those health professionals to notify ANSES about any such reports; they are advised to use the nutritional vigilance declaration form available online.

This action by France follows earlier actions by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), who called for a ban on alcoholic beverages infused with caffeine, as well as a 2011 JAMA article calling energy drinks a public health and safety threat, whether used with or without alcohol; the authors cited caffeine contents and use with alcohol as problematic and suggested more research to guide regulation.

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