Can you really trust a manufacturer who tells you they never had an idea that their product had possible health hazards?
It seems energy drinks are getting a lot of press these days, but not necessarily because of all the pick you up energy they give you.
First of there was all that mess with 4 Loko that sent a bunch of college students convulsing to the hospital, and that nasty incident of one 14 year old girl dying after consuming 2 cans of hyper caffeinated beverage Monster energy two weeks ago and now there’s controversy concerning 5 hour energy which according to a NYT’s reporthas been linked to the deaths of 13 individuals over the past 4 years which has now grabbed the attention of the FDA.
Since 2009 the highly caffeinated drink has said to have been mentioned in 90 filings with the FDA, including 30 life threatening injuries like heart attacks, convulsions and in one case a a spontaneous abortion.
But rest assured all you devoted energy drinkers, as the nyt‘s notes that the filing of an incident report with the F.D.A. doesn’t necessarily mean that a product was responsible for a death or an injury or contributed in any way to it. Rather, such reports can be fragmentary in nature and difficult to investigate. Which is a backhand way of saying keep drinking until you one day suddenly convulse. Or maybe that’s just us media types trying to needlessly stir up a storm where there is none…?
Reports the examiner:
These recent deaths possibly linked to energy drinks have brought to light loopholes that exist in FDA regulations to drinks such as Monster Energy. According to the Legal Examiner, records of energy drinks on the reported problems connected with them are not only subject to regulations, but are also only few and far between. “Monster” and other popular energy drinks aren’t regulated as a “normal consumer food product” would be, and this has proved to have become quite an issue in recent times. Energy drinks are instead considered a dietary supplement because they claim to have all-natural ingredients that are cleared from FDA regulations.
But here’s the real sweet nectar:
gawker: Living Essentials, the distributor of 5-Hour Energy, released a statement that said it was “unaware of any deaths proven to be caused by the consumption of 5-Hour Energy.” It also noted that “submitting a serious adverse even report to the FDA, according to the agency itself, is not construed by FDA as an admission that the dietary supplement was involved, caused or contributed to the adverse even being reported.” In other words, “Nope, it wasn’t us.”
Which in a roundabout way is like saying take your chances and have another one on us, cause had we had the slightest inkling that that shit was bad for you we would have gone off the market, but as it is until you drag us off we’re happy as long as you’re happy. Which raises the awkward question are you happy to continue consuming a product that has been linked to such serious health issues or are you going to just shake it all off and argue that until someone takes it off the market it must by implication mean it’s still good for me? Which raises another awkward question can we really trust the entities making those decisions when to date they have failed to take action on a situation that to date has caused the serious health hazards and even the deaths of 13 individuals?
And then there was this comment via the nytimes that caught my eye as well:
Well duh. And by the way, every “body” is different and reacts differently to different things. No one can tell you what works for your body. Some of it is common sense and basic nutrition and the rest you just have to figure out. That the FDA is corrupt to its very core is no secret, is it? That most people think they can do anything to their bodies and it won’t effect them is not news, is it? The government is all about money and most people are too distracted by their lives to care about their health. I’ve never had one of those energy drinks because it’s quite obvious that it’s a shortcut that doesn’t address the real issue. And the real issue is probably about the amount of refined sugar that people ingest which leads to this lack of energy. The manufacturers are smart, they weren’t born yesterday. They supply the addiction and then what appears to be the solution and laugh all the way to the bank. That’s just a fact. And in the business world, that is just good business, period. Capitalism is not about making sure people get what they need to take care of themselves. It’s a competition to see who can get the most. But I drink Coke Zero so this is probably just the aspartame talking.