Author Affiliations: Center on Young Adult Health and Development, Department of Family Science, University of Maryland School of Public Health, College Park, and the Treatment Research Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Dr Arria); and the Department of Emergency Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (Dr O’Brien).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announcement on November 17, 2010, that caffeine is an unsafe food additive to alcoholic beverages will effectively make several “premixed” alcoholic energy drinks prohibited for sale in the United States. Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission has notified manufacturers that they are engaged in the potential illegal marketing of unsafe alcoholic drinks. These rulings have been regarded by some as a welcome response to an increasing public health risk. Scientists and health professionals assisted in the FDA action by arguing that, on the basis of evidence from an increasing number of scientific studies, the direct addition of caffeine to alcoholic beverages does not meet the “generally recognized as safe” standard.1 Nevertheless, these premixed alcoholic energy drinks are only a fraction of the true public health risk.
Arria AM, O’Brien MC. The “High” Risk of Energy Drinks. JAMA. 2011;305(6):600–601. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.109