The beverage industry has been flooded with energy drink products such as Red Bull, Monster, AMP, 5-Hour Energy, and more. Have you actually read the ingredient labels on these energy drinks? Well, even if you have there maybe something that you don’t know about them.
Are energy drinks regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?
Here’s some background on the subject:
Food is regulated under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, while dietary supplements are regulated under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). Products labeled and regulated as “food,” must contain a nutrition facts label which lists all additives. These additives must be formally approved by the FDA. On the other hand, under the DSHEA, dietary supplements do not require the same degree of regulation. Instead of the FDA being responsible for ensuring that ingredients are safe, the manufacturer of the product must ensure that the supplement or ingredient is safe. The FDA steps in to take action against those unsafe products categorized as dietary supplements, only after they have hit the market. Moreover, manufacturers of dietary supplements are not required to register their products with the FDA or get FDA approval prior to producing or selling their products.
And guess what? Many of the energy drinks on the market are being classified as “dietary supplements” and not as food. This means there is limited regulation regarding their labeling AND safety of their ingredients.
- Consumers Have Little Guidance On Energy Drinks (npr.org)
- FDA warns AeroShot caffeine inhaler’s maker, saying supplements can’t be inhaled – CBS News (cbsnews.com)