Posted on November 16th, 2012 by Zane Cagle
A popular energy shot is coming under increased scrutiny, as the Food and Drug Administration finds it increasingly mentioned in death reports, according to The New York Times. Since 2009, the energy shot has been cited for possible involvement in 13 deaths. It is also cited as a possible factor in 30 other cases of serious or life threatening conditions such as a heart attack. This is calling for changes in the way these drinks are classified and calls for changes in their ingredient listings.
The way an energy drink or energy shot is classified by the FDA changes the requirements on the label. The energy shot in question is classified a “dietary supplement” which means that it does not have to disclose its ingredients on its label. This means, for instance, that the company does not need to disclose how much caffeine is contained within a shot. There is also no way of knowing how much B-12 is contained in the energy shot, nor any way of knowing how much taurine is contained within it. Some people may have adverse reactions to these compounds, especially if one drinks too many of these energy shots. This is why some are calling for reform of how these supposed “dietary supplements” are labeled.
All of this is part of a broader issue of demanding proper food labeling so people can know exactly what they are putting in their bodies. The recently defeated Proposition 37 in California, for example, would have forced food manufacturers to label foods that contained parts made from “plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways.” Proponents of this bill argued that consumers have the right to know if their food has been changed in some appreciable way. Critics argue that the labels are unnecessarily alarmist, as these genetically modified foods are yet to be proven harmful.
While the deaths mentioned above have not been proven to be caused by energy drinks or energy shots, these deaths should cause people to stop and question exactly what these drinks may or may not be doing to a person’s body. With proper labels explaining exactly what is in a given food source, people can make informed decisions about whether to consume a product. It can also help consumers know exactly how much they should be eating or drinking to remain healthy. As the salmonella outbreak last year showed, the food we eat can have serious effects on our bodies.
Zane T. Cagle and the Missouri personal injury attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm, we support any efforts to give consumers the tools to make informed decisions. It does not seem fair that some food is labeled a “dietary supplement” and therefore has less stringent standards on ingredient labeling. If a product is made to be consumed, the manufacturer should be required to let the consumer know exactly what is in a given product. While Proposition 37 was defeated, it does seem that the wind is at the back of this movement, and better labeling requirements will soon be the norm.
If you’ve been made ill from these energy shots or any other type of foodborne illness, you may need a Missouri personal injury attorney to file a claim against the manufacturer. Vomiting, diarrhea, chills, fatigue, and even death can be caused by unsafe foods. If you have experienced these symptoms in Missouri, Illinois, or Kentucky, contact the Missouri personal injury attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm today for a free consultation at 1.800.685.3302 or 314.276.1681