Marlton, NJ (PRWEB) January 17, 2013
Emergency room visits linked to energy drinks have doubled since 2007, according to a new report from the federal government. From 2007 to 2011, government researchers estimate the number of ER visits due to consumption of the highly-caffeinated beverages has soared from 10,000 nationwide to more than 20,000. The report found that the majority of hospital trips involved consumers ages 18 to 25, according to NBC News. Attorney Richard P. Console Jr. sees the potential for an alarming trend in the data, but cautions against making too many assumptions until more information is available. Part of the growing problem, he believes, relates to how the government allows companies to classify energy drinks.
“Many energy drink companies classify their beverages as ‘dietary supplements,’” he said. “The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t currently regulate how much caffeine is permissible in dietary supplements, which allows beverage makers to include as much as they want without having to disclose the true amount. Many companies choose to state the amount of caffeine on their cans, but are young adults going to pay attention to that or even care? I doubt it.”
Reported deaths tied to consuming energy drinks have raised health concerns across the country in recent months. NBC News stated that energy drinks may be linked to as many as 18 deaths, including the death of a 14-year-old girl in Maryland who died after allegedly drinking two Monster Energy beverages in a 24-hour period. The FDA is reportedly still reviewing the government’s research findings and asks for more information from drink companies as it considers the safety of their energy drinks, including their ingredients.
While soda drinking in the United States has been on a steady decline in recent years, consumption of energy drinks like those made by Red Bull and Rockstar, continues to rise among Americans, according to NBC News. In 2011, sales volume relating to purchases of these types of beverages increased by 17 percent for the entire energy drink industry. Console believes the sales spike and the rise in ER visits among young people may not be a coincidence.
“We have to look out this problem from more than one angle,” he said. “There’s the issue of unregulated amounts of caffeine and how many ingredients in the drinks contain it. Then, we have the target demographic, young people, who seem to be suffering the most harm from consuming them. Perhaps, we need to stress moderation in combination with greater disclosure of what’s in these drinks. That way, there can be more informed decisions and reduced risk of harm. Victims may have rights to compensation, if the FDA finds evidence that companies knew the beverages were dangerous, but did nothing to eliminate the risks to consumers."
Console & Hollawell P.C. is a personal injury law firm helping victims of defective consumer products in multiple states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. Richard P. Console Jr., managing partner of the firm, has won multiple awards – SJ Magazine, Awesome Attorneys, and the Top 100 Trial Lawyers – for his successes in litigation.