Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission requesting an investigation of advertising claims made by energy drinks such as 5-hour ENERGY, Monster Energy and Rockstar Energy that could be in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act as unfair or deceptive.
Some of the claims made by energy drinks are that they will “fix the feeling of tired”, “allow you to do more”, make the consumer “sharper and more alert” and provide “hours and hours of energy.”
The FDA has not substantiated these health or function claims.
“The advertising claims made by energy drink manufacturers are particularly alarming in light of the increase in advertisements targeted primarily to children and teenagers,” wrote Markey in the letter to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.
Editor's Note: A copy of the letter is attached to this report.
“Until we know more about the health impacts of these so-called energy drinks, it is inappropriate and may very well be dangerous to advertise them to children and teens,” said Markey, who represents Framingham and has a regional office downtown.
Energy drink makers have said that the claims they have made for their products are supported. They have added that they do not market the beverages to children, a group defined by the industry as those under 12, reported the New York Times.
In 2010, both the F.T.C. and the F.D.A. took action against companies selling beverages mixed energy drinks and alcohol.