August 17, 2012
MAISONS-ALFORT, FranceAfter recording several adverse event reports through its nutritional vigilance program, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) is asking 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% of consumers under [age] 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.
In 2010, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) called on the FTC to launch an immediate investigation into how beverage companies are marketing flavored alcoholic energy drinks that appear to be explicitly designed to attract underage drinkers.
Schumer requested a full review of the marketing of caffeinated alcoholic beverages to determine whether enforcement actions are warranted, and to ensure sufficient investigative and enforcement resources are focused on curbing alcohol marketing to underage consumers.
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