Whether consumed by itself or in combination with alcohol and/or drugs (over-the-counter medication and/or illegal substances), an energy drink could cause or contribute to a person suffering severe injury, illness, or death. This may come as a shock, especially since the marketing of energy drinks makes these products appealing. However, ever since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began its adverse events reports in November of 2012, some states in the country, including Kentucky, are considering legislation to ban energy drinks for minors.
As a safety and consumer advocate, Louisville, KY energy drink side effects lawyer Tad Thomas understands how important it is for individuals who have been harmed by a dangerous product to get the information they need. Whether you or someone you care about has suffered harm from consuming an energy drink, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, you have valid legal rights and deserve answers.
Lack of Regulation
According to the FDA, some energy drinks, whether they contain alcohol or not, are labeled as “dietary supplements” and some are labeled as “conventional foods.” Although the FDA monitors dietary supplements and conventional foods within the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FFDCA), the requirements for products with these ingredients are not the same as others.
For instance, substances that are not considered to be food additives, and are therefore not monitored by the FDA, may be added to conventional foods, such as energy drinks, without FDA approval. Additionally, dietary ingredients, otherwise known as the “active ingredients” in dietary supplements, do not need FDA approval.
Although manufacturers, distributors, and packers of dietary supplements must report any severe adverse events to the FDA, manufacturers, distributors, and packers of conventional foods are not required by the FFDCA to report severe adverse events to the FDA. The loophole of energy drink side effects reporting being voluntary raises the question of whether more people are suffering currently as well as how consumers’ side effects may affect long-term health.
Dangers of Energy Drinks
One of the leading dangers of energy drinks is its use for helping a consumer stay awake when they are likely very much in need of sleep. From falling asleep at the wheel when an energy drink wears off to feeling less intoxicated by alcohol, energy drink consumption can change lives forever. A person’s reaction time and judgment can still be influenced by lack of sleep or intoxication and energy drinks are marketed to make consumers think otherwise.
As a type of product that can be found just about anywhere, energy drinks significantly alter a person’s heart rate due to the large amount of caffeine and other powerful ingredients that can affect consumers’ bodies and health differently across a large spectrum. Without these adverse effects widely known to the public, consumers may unassumingly continue to risk their lives.
Protect Your Rights
Recovering from an injury or grieving the loss of a loved one whose death you believe was caused by energy drink consumption is challenging on multiple levels. From the physical to the financial, emotional suffering also often takes its toll. However, with proper legal counsel from a Louisville, KY energy drink side effects lawyer, you can release some of the burden and focus on healing. Energy drink manufacturers who have neglected their obligation to create a safe product may be held legally accountable.
To learn more about your legal rights, fill out an online form, or call Tad Thomas at (502) 473-6540.