With drugs, food safety and supplements already on their radar, the FDA has given 30 beverage makers 30 days to answer questions about the safety and legality of selling alcoholic energy drinks laced with caffeine.
The primary concern, according to the agency: Manufacturers haven't proven that caffeine added to alcoholic drinks is safe. Previous research estimates close to 30 percent of college students have consumed these energy drinks. That's just the tip of the problem, however.
A 2007 study by the Wake Forest University School of Medicine found student patients who consumed energy beverages mixed with alcohol were at least twice as likely to be hurt or injured, require medical aid and ride with an intoxicated driver compared to those who didn't drink them. Additionally, young adults who drank alcohol-laced energy drinks were more than twice as likely to take advantage of a fellow student sexually.
Citing these very same risks of injury and intoxication, a petition signed by 100 physicians and scientists more than a year ago urged the FDA to strengthen their regulation of all energy drinks, asking the agency to require manufacturers to list the amount of caffeine in their drinks along with information about potential side effects.
Probably the best known name producer in this group: Diageo North America, makers of Smirnoff Raw Tea Malt Beverage. Hit this link, for a full list of companies that produce caffeinated alcoholic beverages and brand names.
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