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Some of the reaction to yesterday’s post commenting on guidelines for voluntary restrictions on marketing to kids focused on political realities. Take a look at Buzz Kill, a report on the marketing of highly caffeinated energy drinks by the staff of Senators Edward J. Only 4 of the 12 companies said they would not market to youth under age 18 (these companies constitute 90% of the market).
Only one company committed to all specific measures: labeling products as not intended for youth under age 18, restricting advertising buys to media where no more than 35 percent of the audience is under age 18, restricting social media access for youth under age 18, and avoiding featuring youth under age 18 in energy drink marketing campaigns. All but one of the responding companies said they would not market, sample, or sell their products in K-12 school settings, but 2 companies used equivocal language.
6 of 10 companies said they were willing to report adverse advents; 3 of 10 said they would do so under specified conditions, and 1 refused to report. 3 companies that belong to the American Beverage Association, which says its members are committed not to market caffeinated energy drinks as sports drinks, do so. Most of the 12 companies label caffeine content on their products, and say they will not promote rapid or excessive consumption or the mixing of energy drinks with drugs or alcohol. 4 of the 12 companies (representing 90% of the market) refuse to commit to protecting adolescents from targeted marketing campaigns. Summary: the companies that own 90% of the energy drink market are largely unwilling to do much to stop marketing their products to kids under age 18. To protect youth, all energy drink manufacturers should cease marketing of energy drink products to children and teens under the age of 18 and sales of these products in K-12 school settings.
It also comes with an ask: write a letter to the companies asking for stronger voluntary commitments.
As I suggested in a previous post, it and similar products have become the new frontier for food advocacy, largely because of linkages, as yet unproven, between their high caffeine content and the deaths of several young people. Now, Suffolk County has passed legislation that blocks companies from giving free samples and coupons to minors and selling the drinks in county parks.
In 2010, Suffolk Country introduced a previous version of the bill that proposed to ban sales of energy drinks to anyone 19 or younger. As explained in the New York Times, Monster Beverage “will no longer be required to tell federal regulators about reports potentially linking its products to deaths and injuries” [doing so is required for supplements, but not foods]. A spokesman for Monster, Michael Sitrick, said the company had decided to market its products as beverages for several reasons.
Another consideration, he said, was that consumers can use government-subsidized food stamps to buy beverages [EBT-card benefits cannot be spent on supplements].
The makers of energy drinks have managed to get away with positioning these products as healthier alternatives to regular soft drinks.
They also have gotten away with being able to add vitamins and minerals to them that the FDA would not permit in regular Coke or Pepsi. Unfortunately for them, some manufacturers upped the caffeine to the point where it might be making people sick.  Illnesses among energy drink users have focused attention on these products. Are energy drinks the new frontier for food advocacy?  I think so, and I’m guessing NutraIngredients-USA does too.
People who consume caffeinated energy drinks may be dying right and left (Because of the caffeine?  The drinks?  Hard to say) but that isn’t stopping food manufacturers from adding it to everything: Cracker Jacks, jelly beans, Gummi Bears, brownies, mints, and maple syrup.
The FDA has just released its data on problems reported among users of three caffeinated energy drinks. The three products involved in the release — Rockstar Energy, 5-Hour Energy and Monster Energy — are all marketed as dietary supplements. The choice of labeling these products as foods or supplements deserves scrutiny.  By an act of Congress, dietary supplements do not have to meet the same standards for content and health claims as foods, and the FDA cannot do much to regulate them unless the products are demonstrably harmful.


Even though people died after drinking these products does not necessarily mean that the products caused the deaths.  Even this number of deaths could be a coincidence. According to statements given to Beverage Daily, 5-Hour Energy says there isn’t any evidence that its products cause deaths.  Its shots contain no more caffeine than a cup of coffee, and do not contain herbal ingredients.
But the product label does not list caffeine content.  The FDA does not require companies to disclose caffeine levels.
The Times points out that healthy adults can consume large amounts of caffeine with no evidence of harm but that caffeine can be risky for people with underlying conditions like heart disorders. Consumer Reports tested products and found that some energy drinks contained more than 240 mg per serving, but notes that packages sometimes contain more than one serving. The FDA considers caffeine to be safe.  But in an opinion last updated in 2011, FDA’s Select Committee on GRAS Substances found that “it is inappropriate to include caffeine among the substances generally recognized as safe (GRAS).
What to do?  A lawyer for the parent of one of the teenagers who died after drinking Monster Energy is urging the FDA to ban the drinks to minors. And how about adding amounts of caffeine to labels.  That seems like a no brainer while the investigations are in progress. Concerns that highly caffeinated Monster Energy drinks might be responsible for the recent deaths of at least five young adults are, as I see it, a direct result of deregulation of food oversight. In 1994, Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), which in essence deregulated dietary supplements, permitted them to be labeled and regulated as supplements, not foods, and removed much of FDA’s authority over their contents and health claims.
The dietary supplement industry, as I explain in Food Politics, wrote much of the key language of this law. When the FDA tried to enforce its food rules for supplements, the courts ruled in favor of manufacturers on First Amendment grounds. Because rules for supplements are less restrictive than those for foods, some manufacturers prefer labeling their products as supplements.
Monster Energy drinks are labeled as supplements, removing them from much of FDA’s authority.
Booming sales means booming profits, and the makers of energy drinks are under pressure to cash in.  That sometimes means cutting corners or not always matching contents to labels. For example, a Consumer Reports investigation of the caffeine content of energy drinks identified some discrepancies.
Caffeine levels per serving ranged from about 6 milligrams to 242 milligrams per serving—and some containers have more than one serving. Five of the 16 products that list a specific amount of caffeine…had more than 20 percent above their labeled amount on average in the samples we tested. Consumer Reports noted one other key point: the FDA considers caffeine as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and does not require amounts to be listed on labels. Consumer Reports points out that Monster drinks—like those of 16 other products—warn against use by children, pregnant or nursing women, and people sensitive to caffeine, and recommend a daily limit.
Whether the Monster Energy drinks are really responsible for the reported deaths will not be easy to establish.  One victim, age 14, is said to have consumed two 24-ounce Monster drinks containing 240 mg caffeine each within a day or two. That energy drinks are labeled as supplements ties the FDA’s hands in dealing with such products. The length of time for the expiration date or "best used before" date depends on the type of product, as well as the brand. Perishable items (such as flax oils or certain probiotics) generally have shorter expiration dates.
Our receiving department does its best to verify and then enter the correct expiration dates for all incoming products. The Shipping Weight includes the product, protective packaging material and the actual shipping box.


Benfotiamine, a lipid-soluble form of thiamine, dramatically boosts AGE-fighting thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) and the cell-shielding activity of the enzyme transketolase in your body.
My husband has suffered for nearly 12 years now with severe daily headaches that start at the base of his skull and his eye, usually always happens on the right side.
I have used this product for quite awhile and I feel it does help my neuropathy tingling in my hands.
The European probiotic sector is bracing itself for tough times ahead in the wake of December’s  EU health claim ban for the sector, but the effects are yet to be felt at Swedish supplier Probi which notched 6% sales growth in 2012.
Get FREE access to authoritative breaking news, videos, podcasts, webinars and white papers. Fruits, Veggies, Green Foods, Antioxidants, Amino Acids, EFAs, Herbs, Mushrooms, Lutein & More! Purified water, 100% pure crystalline fructose, sorbitol, malic acid, apple juice concentrate, natural flavors, potassium sorbate, xanthan gum, sodium benzoate (to preserve freshness), silica. When I broke the security seal, a puff of air popped out from the bottle and I could see green mold on the neck of the bottle. As much as its loaded with good vitamins and mineral, it smells and taste horrible for consumption.
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Companies should engage with distributers and other third-party entities to ensure all contractual partners are bound by this commitment. Additionally, companies should put in place social media and online restrictions, and cease online appeals and marketing to children and teens. One was to stop what he described as “misguided criticism” that the company was selling its energy drinks as dietary supplements because of the belief that such products were more lightly regulated than beverages [Misguided? Other energy drinks like Red Bull, NOS and AMP are marketed by their producers as beverages. Monster Energy contains 240 mg caffeine in 24 ounces.  It has been associated with the deaths of five people so far.
Although our warehouse is fully air-conditioned, these more fragile items are put in cold storage (freezer or refrigeration unit) for maximum freshness. I was diagnosed as being diabetic 10 years ago, and so far my blood sugar is under control without pills or insulin. Exceeding the recommended dosage will result in ingestion of more than 10,000 IU of Vitamin A from retinol, which in high amounts is known to cause birth defects. I strongly believe this bottle was well within the shelf life as it is only 4 months since my purchase. There is not a mandatory reporting requirement for beverages, though makers can do so voluntarily.
This being said, the exceptionally high turnover at iHerb ensures that our inventory is among the freshest in the industry.
As such, these products will reflect a higher Shipping Weight compared to the unprotected product.
The only difference is their's only has 2mg of B2, no B5,2mg B6 and 200IU of vitamin D3.



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